Paul Moore: Divining the will of God . . . Ask for prayers, and you shall perceive

In My Father’s House / Paul Thomas Moore 

My cousin Paula e-mailed today asking if I got the job I asked her to pray about for me. No, I wrote her back, but thanks for your prayer, as I believe it helped me achieve some unexpected blessings.

She wasn’t the only one I asked to pray for this intention. Truth be told, I am quite shameless when it comes to requesting prayers for myself and others.

I asked my brother Michael, and my table-mate Jeff from the “That Man Is You” sessions I am attending at my parish. I asked our friend Anne on the grounds that she had been instrumental in bringing my wife and I together — and maybe lightning would strike twice. I asked my friend John with whom I talk about writing and faith and faith life eating fish sandwiches and drinking lots of coffee.

THE PRAYER PETITION LIST GROWS

I realize this column is starting to read like one of those biblical passages with long lists of names, such as with the genealogy of Jesus: “He was the son . . . of Joseph, the son of Heli, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Melchi, the son of Jannai. . . .” (Luke 3: 23-38). At a certain point, with all due respect to the inspired word of God, one is tempted to wonder if maybe Luke could get to the point? Still, I’m starting to realize that sometimes a long list is part of the point.

When you pray, and ask others to do the same, you risk creating such a din that Heaven can hardly ignore it. Then, watch out how God’s will be done!

So, to continue, I asked my songwriting friend Kirk, and Caitie, an author whom I interviewed on Catholic Spirit Radio. I asked our friends Cecilia, Helen, and Honey, three especially wonderful pray-ers. I even asked my dentist, Dr. Kyle, for prayers after my annual check-up. God bless him, he stopped right there to pray over me.

While all my prayer petitioning (begging?) was proceeding, the application process for the position was also proceeding. I had been screened in, had an initial phone interview, and then an in-person interview. One can never be sure, but I felt that with God’s help and all those prayers, I had turned in a pretty good interview, and that my qualifications would make me a strong candidate.

Naturally, I had also asked my wife for prayers, and probably others whose names I don’t recall at the moment (if you’re reading this and don’t see your name, please consider yourself thanked).

Last but not least, since one can’t ask others to do all the heavy lifting, I prayed for myself.

GOD ANSWERS IN UNEXPECTED WAY

That’s what I was doing in the Adoration Chapel at St. Mary of Metamora as Father Vien was taking the cruets from the altar into the vestry after Mass. I rose and asked him if he would pray for me. He said he would, then as he was about to leave, he seemed to have another idea. Would I consider serving as an extraordinary minister of the Eucharist to nursing home residents?

I said that although I had never considered such a role, I would be honored to do this. My fiat kicked off another application process, by which Father Vien submitted a letter of nomination on my behalf to Bishop Tylka. He said it would take a couple of weeks to hear back.

After Mass on the morning of Tuesday, March 22, Father Vien led novena prayers to St. Anthony. Following this, I was in the Adoration Chapel, trying if at all possible to divert some of those prayers in the direction of the position I desired.

Father Vien stopped by to inform me that my application for extraordinary minister of the Eucharist had been accepted. Later that afternoon, I learned I had been unsuccessful in the other job process.

The moral of the story? First of all, prayer works. I asked for a job; God gave me one. I did not succeed in getting the job for which I considered myself best suited. The role I did not seek and did not feel spiritually ready for — that is the one he entrusted to me. And am I ever grateful.

When you pray, and ask others to do the same, you risk creating such a din that Heaven can hardly ignore it. Then, watch out how God’s will be done!

PAUL THOMAS MOORE is a Catholic communicator and singer-songwriter. He and wife Mary Louise attend St. Mary of Lourdes in Germantown Hills. He can be reached at paulthomasmoore@hotmail.com.

 

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