PRAYING IN THE COMMUNION OF SAINTS
By Archbishop Christopher Prowse
One of the most beautiful features of Catholic piety is that when praying, we pray with the communion of the saints. We must never think we are alone when we pray. It’s never simply an individualistic prayer. We pray as Church. We pray with all the baptised. We pray not only with the baptised living, but also those who have already gone to God.
In my prayer time, especially in the morning, I am very conscious of praying in the communion of the saints. Over the years I’ve been especially blessed to receive some precious relics from some of our saints. I place these relics in my chapel.There’s a beautiful relic of St Therese of Lisieux, the Little Flower. I place the relic near a picture of her as a young child. There’s a relic of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop, the Aussie saint. I pray with her too. I pray especially when I need to pray for an Australian intention! There’s also a relic of St John Paul II and a beautiful statue of Our Lady of Fatima.
I pray with Mary very often too. She understands our confused prayers in such a beautiful way. I’m sure she translates our prayers in a way that’s comprehensible to her Son, Jesus! This is our hope! Sometimes people who are not Catholic can misinterpret our devotion to the saints. We never worship the saints in competition with Jesus. Quite the contrary! We pray with them, as indeed we pray with people at Mass on Sunday.
They become our intercessors. Through their life and teachings they teach us to pray. They indicate to us by their lives the necessity of prayer. They never give up. They trust in the Lord even when there is good reason to do otherwise. Often when I pray in communion with the saints, I pray also with those loved ones of mine who have died. I pray for God’s merciful love to be on them. It’s a beautiful act of charity for the living. We hope that when we die, the living will pray for us. Thus, in charity, let us pray as the living for those who have died before us. We pray to the Lord in communion with all those who have gone before us. May this belief give us sure confidence and hope that our prayers are heard by the Lord who gives life and hope to His people.