Thursday, 14 January 2016

Intercessors For the Year of Mercy

This burden is not heavy, for this is my brother/sister I carry.

Many people of faith will come to the Holy Doors, in this Year of Mercy, whether they be the officially appointed Holy Doors in their diocese or the doors of their own places of worship. They will come seeking God's mercy, healing and blessing for themselves.

Yet many will not enter. They will not enter because they are unable. The condition of their faith is grave, so badly wounded they may not even be aware that such doors even exist. Along the roadway leading to the Doors of Mercy, their faith lies dying, starving for lack of God's truth, blinded by the dist-storms of falsehood, limbs shattered and broken by the blows inflicted by their many sufferings and the suffering of others, beaten by the argument - where is your God now, who has abandoned you to suffer alone and die?

Their only hope is that someone will lift them up and carry them in their arms, through the Holy Doors and into the healing presence of the Father.

These are the THE INTERCESSORS OF THE YEAR OF MERCY. Who are they? Are you one? Would you be willing to become one?

We have already looked into the Prayer of Intercession in a previous Post [... LINK ...] 
This Post will look at the heart of an intercessor and the impact intercession has on them personally. People often ask us, "... to keep me in your prayers"; and we assure them that we will. 

But there is a dimension to being an intercessor that is deeply personal and very real, one that is felt on a deeply spiritual level. 

People who work in emergency services can tell us much about taking another up into their arms and carrying them to safety. They enter into the real pearl of another person, exposing themselves to real danger in order to save the life of another. Indeed, when you look closely at the Corporal Works of Mercy, it becomes evident that if you engage in them it will cost you in some corporal way. The question here is how does praying as an intercessor for another impact on you personally?

The Prayer of Intercession is a Spiritual Work of Mercy. It takes us deeply into the realm of the spiritual, where the struggle is spiritual. As St. Paul reminds us: 
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Ephesians 6:12

Let me tell you of one person's real experience as an intercessor in prayer.
He has been asked to pray for another person who's faith has been crushed by much suffering, who with a broken heart no longer wants anything to do with God or religion. He willingly accepts.
First he asks for himself, that God call him personally into this spiritual struggle and grant him the graces he will need. He immediately knows that his request has been granted, for on his heart he feels a weight descending, a wounded heart being placed, as it were, in the arms of his own heart. Compassion enters him as he feels a measure of the darkness that fills that person's heart.
He passes through the doors of his parish church to join in the celebration of the Eucharist. But this time his experience is different. His sense of the spiritual is strong, that he is among the holy ones, that he is entering the presence of the God of Mercy.
All the voices of the liturgy spreads a comforting peace over his heart and surrounds the wounded heart of the one in his arms. 
He hears for the one who cannot hear, the hymns of glory, the prayers of confidence, the scriptures of truth. He feels the struggle the other has to let these enter - the darkness resisting, fighting to hold captive this child of God.
At the table of the Lord, he reaches out to receive the Bread of Life which he shares with the other who cannot feed themselves. They rest in the arms of the Father. 
In the O.T. in the book of Sirach 2:1-9 we read: 
My child, if you aspire to serve the Lord, prepare yourself for an ordeal.
Praying this way is REAL * EXPERIENCED * PERSONAL. We are enlisting ourselves in the ongoing struggle of the Cross of Christ. We face the same enemy that tried and failed to crush the Prince of Mercy. That victory, won on the Cross, continues and is available to all who are willing to take up the cross of another, the cross that is trying to destroy them.

If you feel called and are willing, ask the Lord of Mercy to place another in your arms, and begin the Spiritual Work of Mercy - Praying for Another.

St. Paul tells us how we are to suit up for this confrontation that we will face in the Prayer of Intercession.


Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 
  • Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, 
  • with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 
  • and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace
  • In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 
  • Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:12

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