10 Things to do in 2019 to Bring a Loved One Back to the Church [PART 2]
We all have family members, loved ones and friends who have left the Church. The ache of the broken heart is all too real for so many of us when we think of their absence. But what can we do?
Here are the 2nd 5 of my top 10 things we can (and must) do to help bring them back to the Church:
Give – offer up your time, talent and treasure for your loved ones, in other words live as a steward for them. As the Archangel Raphael declared, “Almsgiving delivers from death, and it will purge away every sin” (Tob 12:9) or using the analogy of water putting out fire so does giving do for sins (cf. Sir 3:30). Let me be clear before I say anything here, no one can buy their way into heaven; the Church has clearly spoken on that issue. We fall into these extremes because we do not understand that almsgiving is not simply a “donation” or “tax write-off” but instead it is a prayer. Almsgiving is an act of worship, “an excellent offering in the presence of the Most High” (Tob 4:11). Next time you are writing your tithe check put someone’s name in the memo or envelope, offer them up with your “prayer”, your “worship”, your “sacrificial gift.”
Pray– obviously you have been doing this, but this year I want you to pray with a new energy characterized by confidence. When God’s Chosen People betrayed Him by worshiping a cow made of a precious medal Moses prayed to the Lord. The Lord listened to Moses’ prayer of intercession, His anger was abated and mercy was granted (cf. Deut 9:18-20). Have confidence that what you desire (salvation for the lost) is exactly what our Heavenly Father desires (cf. 1 Tim 2:4). Since that is true “this is the confidence which we have in him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have obtained the requests made of him” (1 Jn 5:14,15).
Mass – offer up every Holy Mass that you can for your loved ones. Mass is the greatest prayer we have because it a re-presentation of the very act that granted every grace and mercy to humanity. When you are at Mass imagine placing your loved ones on the altar with the bread and wine. Just as the Holy Spirit turns bread and wine into something completely new, ask the Spirit to transform your loved ones. In our Catholic Faith we have a tradition of having priests offer Masses for the deceased. This is a highly encouraged devotion, but we can also have Masses said for the living. In fact, the saints have told us that Masses said for us while we are alive are worth even more.
Mom– we need to get the Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of Heaven and Earth on the case. The Woman that said “Yes” to the Incarnation, requested the first public miracle of Christ, stood at the Cross and prayed with the Apostles to call the Holy Spirit to come upon the Church continues to play a role in bringing the lost home. If you have yet to do a consecration to Jesus Christ through Mary I encourage you to do so. Place your prayers for your loved ones into Her immaculate hands asking Her to bring them to Her Divine Son.
Give Thanks – thanksgiving should be a natural part of a Christian’s life. Jesus said, “I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you will receive it, and you will” (Mk 11:24). Since that is true then we should go ahead and offer thanksgiving for this great gift. Now this is not to suggest that it is wrong to cry or feel pain over our lost loved ones, Christ wept for Lazarus even though He knew what He was going to do (cf. Jn 11:35). It is to encourage a thankful heart. Thank the Lord for all the ways He is moving in the life of our loved ones in ways that we cannot even perceive yet (cf. Is 43:19) because He is always working towards our good (cf. Jer 29:11).
If you know people that are currently away from Christ & His Church share their name with us (First Name, Last Initial) and we will add them to our Casting Nets Prayer Journal. We already have over 4,300 names of people we prayer for daily for their conversion, we would be honored to pray for your loved ones as well. Just reply to this email with their names.
Chris Stewart Co-Founder & COO Casting Nets Ministries