Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Friday 06 August |
The Feast of the Transfiguration
home iconLifestyle
line break icon

One of the best gifts you can give a friend in need


Yolanda Sun/Unsplash | CC0

Cerith Gardiner - published on 07/24/19

And it's an exclusively Christian gift!

Seeing our loved ones suffer often leaves us feeling powerless. Of course, we can lend a helping hand if it’s a practical issue, but what can we do when it’s something beyond our control? We can offer an empathetic ear, give some well-meaning advice, and say a few prayers. Yet, there is something else that every Christian has at their disposal that can bring comfort in a way we might not expect. Let me explain …

The last few months have personally been very trying. And when I say “trying,” I mean the most stressful moments of my entire life. I won’t bore you with all the details, but suffice it to say that I’ve been in very regular communication with the Big Man upstairs.

While He’s been a great source of comfort, there’s a part of me that feels my prayers are just not enough. In fact, sometimes I wonder if I’m doing it right or if I’m being self-centered — after all, my loved ones are in good health and we have food on the table. Then, as things were getting really bad, a minor miracle happened.

A great friend of mine — who seriously has the patience of a saint — sent me an email saying her local parish priest had added me to his prayer intentions and would be saying a Mass for me. I literally burst out crying as I felt a huge weight fall from my shoulders.

It was the strangest feeling. I’d asked priests to include friends and family in their prayer intentions in the past. It was an obvious thing to do. Yet, I’d never been the recipient of this wonderful source of comfort. I hadn’t really appreciated the power of others joining in prayer for me. I’m not sure why I reacted so strongly to this kind gesture, but one thing is for certain — the beauty of that promise of intercessory prayer has given me the strength to keep going, to keep on saying my own prayers in gratitude for my very own Catholic village.


Read more:
4 Things never to say when your single girlfriend is discouraged with dating


Read more:
Summer hosting leaving you stressed? Take a little advice from St. Benedict

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Philip Kosloski
Most priests can’t absolve these sins
Saint Mary of the Angels
Bret Thoman, OFS
All your sins will be forgiven if you go to a Franciscan church o...
Zelda Caldwell
World-record winning gymnast Simone Biles leans on her Catholic f...
Violeta Tejera
Carlo Acutis’ first stained glass window in jeans and sneak...
Cerith Gardiner
Nightbirde’s beautiful message as she drops out of TV show
Ignacio María Doñoro
Francisco Veneto
The military chaplain who pretended to be a criminal to rescue a ...
John Vianney
Philip Kosloski
Why St. John Vianney signed a petition to be “canceled̶...
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.