Our times, they are contentious. Believers are being attacked in favor of secular agendas. Prominent Catholics make heretical statements, crowning themselves as representative of Church teachings. Faithful journalists offer rebukes of both the attackers and the Church for what they perceive to be a lackadaisical or even enabling attitude. It’s no wonder Christians often feel anxious and confused.
This shouldn’t be a new feeling. Jesus told us that the world wouldn’t like us very much, but that we were not of this world. He also told us many times, “Be not afraid.” When faced with any of the above situations, I think there is a response that Christians can and should have, and it can be found in St. Padre Pio’s famous quote:
“Pray, hope and don’t worry. Worry is useless. God is merciful and will hear our prayer.”
The very first word is the answer: Pray.
I would like to suggest that we respond to the ills of this world with spiritual flash mobs.
First, let me define my terms. A flash mob is a group of people who gather in public and perform a seemingly random act. Have you ever seen a video on the internet that shows an individual break into song, or maybe dance, and then he or she is joined by others in a coordinated performance? This would be a type of flash mob. While flash mobs can be pointless or even destructive, often they are positive and joyful.
What would a spiritual flash mob look like? Every time there is a pro-abortion statement issued, every time we hear of people being persecuted for their faith, every time we read about a car accident or drug overdose in the local paper, we come together (in spirit) and pray.
Imagine the change we could bring about through the unification of our prayers. Imagine hundreds, or even thousands of prayer warriors bringing the same petition to God at the same time. “Wherever two or three are gathered in my name…” How about thousands?
Many of us already do a version of this through Facebook, calling on “friends” to pray for special intentions. How much more effective could our prayers be if we opened the channel up to include people from all over the world?
We could swarm every evil, inundating both perpetrator and victim with the warm embrace of Jesus’ love. This is what we are called to do. Not to stir the pot and keep the rhetoric going. Not to make a judgment about the state of another person’s soul. We are called to love them to the point where they can’t escape Jesus’ own love. And then, of course, they will have to make a choice. We can pray about that, too.
We’ve already witnessed the positive effects of large group prayer. Some of the more famous examples include the victory of outnumbered Christians against invading Turks in the Battle of Lepanto and the peaceful withdrawal of Soviet troops from Austria. Perhaps lesser known are the one million Fatima pilgrims joined by over 300 dioceses throughout the world in a night of prayer on October 12-13, 1960 in response to Soviet threats against the West. That night, as the Soviets’ tested their new long-range atomic bomb, the missile blew up, killing 300 top military leaders and scientists and setting Russia’s nuclear program back twenty years.
I already have some intentions lined up.
- Pray for clarity in confusion, both for the followers of Christ and for those who don’t know Him but are seeking the Truth.
- Pray for an end to abortion and euthanasia, two evils that attack the very dignity of human beings.
- Pray that God’s merciful love will infuse those who persecute Christians and other religious minorities.
- Pray for peace throughout the world.
God hears every prayer, especially those of the “poor”. This includes those who are poor in spirit, or humble. Ask God to rid you of your judgment, your anger, and your self-righteousness. We are all guilty of these sins, because we are all human. Ask God to make you poor in spirit. Ask Him to make you a peacemaker.
If Christians would stop responding to the world in worldly ways and instead stick to Jesus’ plan—to spread the Gospel, which is Love—I bet we would see the positive results of His hand working in our lives and in the lives of others.
© Jacqueline Vick, 2017