Tag Archives: petition

Joining the Army

I have far too much respect for the men and women of our armed forces to make this post comical (too much). Instead, I’ll keep it short and to the point.

“Suffer the Little Children”, stained glass window, Our Lady of Good Counsel, Newark, NJ

At the school where I work we have an army of sorts. You may have heard the term “prayer warrior”. It seems to me I hear that term quite often, especially here in Texas where every cashier at every convenience store finishes your sale by wishing you a “blessed day”. Basically a prayer warrior is one who is frequently called upon (usually as part of a larger group of such warriors) to pray for the specific needs of others in the group. Even my parish – a Catholic church that only offers the traditional Latin mass – routinely sends texts to my phone beginning with the phrase “Prayer Warriors, please pray for…” I myself have used the phrase in other places on this blog when requesting specific prayers from you my readers. Note how I did not say “both of you” at the end of that sentence.

This school-based army of which I speak is committed to one thing, namely praying for the success of our school. We call it the “Memorare Army” because we ask that each “soldier” pray three Memorares daily for one year with this intention in mind. My mother taught me this beautiful prayer when I was young. As I got older – by the way, I noticed I’m not keeping this short – as I got older and went through some particularly trying times; she asked me to pray the Memorare every day. “The Blessed Mother will protect you,” she told me, “if you honor her daily.” I have kept that promise. In fact, I’ve added to it. A few years ago I had occasion to be in the presence of a group of Missionaries of Charity. Apparently not interested in my stellar conversation skills, they began to pray. “Sister, did you hear about that new express lane they’re building on 183?” Sister (looking at me with a stare somewhere between wishing death upon me and mild befuddlement): “We pray now. Remember O Most Gracious Virgin Mary…” This prayer they repeated for a total of ten times. I am told Mother Teresa herself taught them to pray ten Memorares whenever they had free time. Nine of these are in petition (like a novena) and the tenth is in thanksgiving. Mother was always certain that God would grant her requests.

Flagg used his own face for the face of Uncle Sam. Who knew?

So I started praying ten Memorares.

Then my boss asked if I would join the Memorare Army. So I tacked on three more. I reached out to family and friends to ask them to join as well.

My enterprising youngest sister – a homeschooling mom of six – agreed to my three (for a total of 24 daily Memorares from her, her husband, and the kids) with a catch.

“You will, of course, prayer FOUR Memorares daily for my school.”

Of course.

So yours truly is up to seventeen Memorares daily.

I don’t write all of this to proudly proclaim my prayer habits. That would be the opposite of humility which, as we know, is something I must work on (see yesterday’s post). I write this to tell you that 1) it’s pretty easy to find short periods of time throughout your day to pray, 2) it’s never a bad idea to honor the Blessed Mother, 3) my sister is a conniving trickster, and 4) I want you, as J. M. Flagg’s famous poster proclaims, to join us. I’ll even go one further and throw in three more for the intentions of all my readers. Seventeen is such a boring number anyway. Why not make it twenty?

So friends, you’ve got your marching orders. The enemy is legion (literally). We can surely rely on the prayers of each of our brothers in arms. My sister will always get what she wants.