May the light of Christ bring these precious souls out of darkness and into the loving arms of the Shepherd.
Everyone most likely knows someone who has walked away from the Church. They could be a family member, a friend, or even a fellow parishioner who used to faithfully come every Sunday to Mass.
Whatever the case may be, it pains us every time we think of how that person left the loving arms of the Good Shepherd. We would do anything to bring them back, but often we don’t know what to do.
Besides our positive example, the best thing to do is to pray for the Good Shepherd to do his work and search out the one sheep who has strayed from the flock. He is the only one capable of carrying that soul back into the flock and is the one to whom our prayers should be addressed.
Here is a short prayer from The Garden of the Soul prayer book that asks God to bring these souls into the light of Christ and to remove whatever is blinding them from the truth.
God of Mercy, look down with an eye of pity and compassion on all those souls who have gone away from the paths of truth and unity, and from the one fold of the one Shepherd, Jesus Christ, into the by-paths of error. O, bring them back to you and to your Church. Dispel their darkness by your heavenly light; take off the veil from before their eyes, with which the common enemy hath blindfolded them. Take away from them the spirit of obstinacy, pride, and self-conceit. Give them a humble and docile heart. Give them a strong desire of finding out your truth, and a strong grace to enable them to embrace it. Amen.