Before our friend Jack died, I spent a lot of time praying for him. I would wake in the middle of the night, and I would pray. During the day whenever I thought of Jack, I prayed. I offered up Masses for him.
I was worried for his soul. Jack was raised a Catholic but was not a practicing Catholic in any way.
About 10 days before he died I asked my spiritual director, a priest, to visit Jack. They had a good talk. Shortly before he died Jack received the Sacrament of the sick.
I prayed at his bedside as he lay dying. I asked my sisters to pray for Jack as well. Sort of like a little prayer committee to get Jack to Heaven.
A funny thing happened to me during this time. I felt good about this praying I was doing. Way more praying than usual. It made me feel at peace, like I was doing something concrete for Jack--when there is so little one can do for another person who is dying of a terminal illness.
After Jack died, I wasn't praying as much. The urgency was gone. And I missed the feeling of peace that had become a part of me as a result of this prayer.
Recently I read The Trial of Faith of Saint Therese of Lisieux. St Therese felt it was her vocation to pray and suffer for souls who had lost their faith. I have also read St. Faustina's diary, another amazing story of a soul close to God. Faustina also prayed for souls.
Putting all this together I knew that I too could pray for souls like these two great saints. I could offer up prayers whenever I thought about it, so that souls who are dying could make it to Heaven. Especially those souls who have nobody to pray for them. Like Jack.
And then it hit me. Jack probably did have others praying for him too. And they would be those other souls, who also felt it was their calling to pray for souls that nobody prayed for. And now Jack can pray for all us here as well.
The Communion of Saints. Awesome.