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God Needs You!

September 7, AD 2011 4 Comments

Last month, my boyfriend’s grandfather died. The beauty of our Catholic faith never felt more exposed to me than with the passing of another believing soul from earth into eternity. I could not turn a corner in the grandfather’s house without seeing a crucifix. The family physically came together in fellowship- to eat meals, participate in the sacraments together, laugh, mourn and celebrate the now-deceased and beloved man’s full life.

I felt blessed to be there, blessed to know him, and hope at his passing. When people say he is in a better place now, my boyfriend observed, how can they know? We cannot, and do not, though suspicions abound. It is in God’s mercy that we trust; it is in faith that we pray for his soul to find its eventual and eternal rest in Heaven.

At the funeral home, before the Mass, I sat next to my boyfriend’s mother. I asked her if she would like me to sit with their family or with my own. I’ll never forget the way she looked at me, and with her kind smile she said, “Oh, you should sit with us. [He] needs you. He needs you next to him. Isn’t it nice to be needed?”

Padre Pio during a Mass

Padre Pio said, “Pray, pray to the Lord with me, because the whole world needs prayer. And every day, when your heart especially feels the loneliness of life, pray. Pray to the Lord, because even God needs our prayers.”

I always wondered at that line: God needs our prayers? God needs us?

“For I know well the plans I have in mind for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare, not for woe! Plans to give you a future full of hope. When you call me, when you go to pray to me, I will listen to you. When you look for me, you will find me. Yes, when you seek me with all you heart, you will find me with you, says the Lord” (Jeremiah 29: 11-13).

Prayer is our communication with God. It is not a customer service desk. It is not a request hotline. It is how we build a relationship with God, how we build our community of believers and how we are in communion. Prayer is also how we express our love for God, even when frustrations build and doubt surfaces.

We do not go to Mass to participate in empty ritual- we go there to empty ourselves before the Lord: our worries, our cares, and our requests. We go to Mass to show our love of God and he, in return, shows his love for us in the liturgy. As Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta said, “When you look at the crucifix, you understand how much Jesus loved you then. When you look at the Sacred Host, you understand how much Jesus loves you now.”

Mass is God’s gathering of us, the weak and wounded. Perfectly unperfectable, we go to Mass to pray, to worship, and to know that we are not alone. God knew us before we were physically born, and he loves us transcendentally. God’s love is not so linear as our own is; his love knows no bounds, his love encapsulates this world and the next, uniting Heaven and Earth.

Approach prayer, then, as an act of love, so God knows we need him too.

About the Author:

J.R. Baldwin is the Editor-in-chief at Ignitum Today. A former statehouse reporter, she teaches history for a classical school and writes for The Imaginative Conservative. She blogs at The Corner With A View, and tweets from @thejulieview. A Midwesterner by birth, she lives out East with her husband and bebes.
  • Great post!

  • I love that quote from Mother Teresa. I have never heard it before. It definitely makes you realize his ever continuing love. Thanks

  • Nice post… I think what gives me the most hope for this blog and the “youth” which I might be just on the outside of at 32 is the fact that you used Padre Pio.

    In a modernist world, and culture of death, a figure like Saint Pio is a refreshing ray of hopeful sunshine especially when put forward by our youth.

    Thanks Julie!

  • Julie,
    Once someone told me, “you do’t go to Mass to get something out of it, you go to Mass to give praise to God.” I think it is a beautiful way of showing God, Father, Son and Spirit, how much we love Him.