'Heading' Up Intercessory Prayer

By Melodie Kirby

During the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy in 2016, as a birthday gift, a dear friend invited me to join her and our friends for the Divine Mercy Sunday Weekend conference in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. It was a heavenly chance to receive the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Communion with friends and to celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday. Most thrilling was the opportunity to walk through the Holy Doors at the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy. While I did, I prayed for all of my deceased family members. While waiting in lines, I prayed many Rosaries for the intentions of my siblings, who were away from the Church.        

Two Christmases later, we had been chagrined to see my brother, Scott, declining in his battle with cancer. We prayed the Rosary and Chaplet of Divine Mercy with even greater intensity. I added time in Adoration and asked people to pray for my brother’s soul, as he neared death.

I was certain that Jesus, the Divine Mercy, bestowed many graces through our prayers. Six weeks later, I was at home in North Attleboro, Massachusetts, when I received an urgent call from my sister warning me that I needed to visit my dying brother to bid him goodbye. The next day, I brought my Rosary beads and prayed continuously for his soul. The 20 minutes or so that I had together with both of my brothers seemed heavenly orchestrated. Scott seemed cheerful, grateful that we both were there for him. He actually sat forward and gave me an unexpected bear hug!

I thanked him for asking me to be his Confirmation sponsor, for being such a loving brother and fun uncle, and for always being so generous with our family. Then I told him of my Rosary and Divine Mercy prayers for him and for his sickly girlfriend. I pleaded with him to talk with Jesus and to “set his heart right.” To my great surprise, his girlfriend spoke from his cell phone. She had been listening to our conversation. I realized that I had been evangelizing them both!

Since Scott had been a football player who experienced many concussions, he willed his brain to a scientific study. After his death, the day that his brain had been delivered to the nearby college happened to be National Concussion Awareness Day! 

 Last year, my car had been totaled in an accident on my way to morning Mass. Thankfully, I only had a mild concussion. I had been slowly recovering with a headache, sore eyes, and muscles. I was nervous about renting a car for the first time through insurance. I recall the fear I had when slowly climbing into the driver seat of this brand-new car. Suddenly, I saw my brother’s name, “Scott, Travis,” unexpectedly scroll across the dashboard. It was startling! Then I realized that the song playing on the system was by an artist named “Travis Scott,” but the last name had been put first, separated by a comma.  

Wondering if God had ordained this as a reminder to me that my brother had also had concussions and that he had been blessed by Divine Mercy prayers at his death, I felt comforted and less fearful of my driving again. I thanked God for this simple coincidence. I took it as a reminder to continue to pray for Scott’s soul, which I felt hopeful about. May we always remember our own roles as vital intercessors for others — our “brothers” — to gain Heaven’s reward hereafter!

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