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For various reasons, people we know and love will either walk away from the Catholic faith, or have never been given the fullness of the truth in the first place. In either case, our hearts might ache that this person has not embraced the saving power of Jesus’ love and compassion.
While we should do all that we can to provide an inspiring example for them to follow, sometimes all we can do is pray and hope that God will lead them home.
Here is a prayer from a manual of prayers published in 1851 that beautifully represents our desires and cries out to God for help.
O divine and adorable Savior, thou who art the way, the truth, and the life, I beseech thee to have mercy upon N., and bring him [or her] to the knowledge and love of thy truth. Thou, O Lord, knowest all his darkness, his weakness, and his doubts: have pity upon him, O merciful Savior; let the bright beams of thy eternal truth shine upon his mind; clear away the cloud of error and prejudice from before his eyes, and may he humbly submit to and embrace with his whole heart the teaching of thy Church. Oh, let not the soul for whom I pray be shut out from thy blessed fold! Unite him to thyself in the sacraments of thy love, and grant that, partaking of the blessings of thy grace in this life, he may come at last to the possession of those eternal rewards which thou hast promised to all those who believe in thee and who do thy will. Hear this my petition, O merciful Jesus, who, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, livest and reignest ever and ever. Amen.
Jesus himself gave us this prayer for the conversion of a friend or family member
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