This is a great prayer initiative, just in case you haven’t seen it yet. Adopt a Cardinal.
You go to the site, give minimal details (name, email), and then they give you a randomly generated cardinal to pray for over the next few days and weeks (I presume he is randomly generated; I’ve no reason to think they are stacking it in some strange way!).
Why bother? This is just my quick interpretation of why I got so excited! (1) Prayer is good, full stop. (2) ‘Focussed’ prayer is good; when you name things and name people; when you speak like a child and ask the Lord to help a particular person with a particular need. (3) Making a concrete commitment to pray is good, even if it’s through a computer and a website. (4) It makes you realise you are praying with the whole Body of Christ, with Christians throughout the world. (5) It makes you feel personally involved in the whole process of the forthcoming election, more connected. (6) It opens you up to the life of the Church in a completely unexpected way: my cardinal is Polycarp Pengo, Archbishop of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. I’ve never heard of him; never been there; yet I feel profoundly linked to him already. (7) It’s fun!
And no, I don’t think it’s about praying your cardinal into the Papacy; but praying that they are blessed by the Lord at this time, and truly open to the Holy Spirit in all that they do and decide.
This is the blurb from the website:
What about you? Do you feel the same way too?
- Are you infinitely thankful to God for having given us such a wonderful, wise and benevolent pope in Benedict XVI.?
- Do you sincerely hope that the Church will be granted a worthy successor: a rock of faith, a leader open to the Holy Spirit, a pope prayerful and holy?
- Do you as an important part of the Body of Christ wish to contribute through the power of your prayers so that the Holy Spirit may guide, protect and enlighten our Cardinals when they determine the next successor of St. Peter?
You now have the opportunity to actively be part of this providential endeavour by having a Cardinal assigned to you, who you will support through your prayer and intercession during the coming weeks before and during the conclave and for three days following the election.
As I type there are 83,350 people signed up.