"A church of some sort"

It is often said that the neopagan community is an "open source" religion, meaning everybody it is free to study the faith, "use" the faith, and modify practices as they see fit. Surprisingly we find this "open source" flexibility and catholicism as well. Catholicism broadly recognizes that the so called universal call to holiness cannot be fulfilled in only one way. Thus the spiritual path taken by saint Thomas Aquinas, will be different from say the spiritual path taken by Mother Theresa. Not only must every generation, and society find its own way to an extent. But every person must find their own path. Thus with the exception of seven rituals which can only be changed with the authorization of the Pope, and performed by the appropriate ministers. Every individual catholic is free to adopt practices that suit them as individuals. So long as they participate in the seven sacraments at the appropriate times.

The almost total adaptability of the catholic faith to my individual circumstances, and taste is one of the principal things that attracted me to the practice of catholicism almost ten years ago. For example I don't use my rosary to pray the Rosary, I most often use it to pray the litany of the saints, or the jesus prayer depending on my mood. Heck for the first five years of my catholic practice I did not even know how to pray the rosary. The priest in the hospital where I finally learned it was quite scandalized.

I find these little personal rituals make the faith more concrete to me, from the office of the dead, prayed on all hollows eve for my decease love ones, ancestors and all the souls in purgatory. To celebrating all twelve days of Christmas, complete with traditional foods if I can get them.

I have long sought other people, who practice the faith this way and documentation on everyday sacramentality, but aside from a few old books about such things being done in the family context. There isn't much, and almost nothing for twenty first century single people. this series is my rather lackadaisical attempt to remedy that situation. Which brings me to today's topic, the universal intercession.

what is an intercession

An intercession, or intercessory prayer is probably the most common form of ritual prayer in the christian world, not just among Catholics. To put it simply an intercession is when you ask God for something. Or ask a saint to ask god to for something or to do something. It is always acceptable to ask God to do something for you or somebody else. Provided you are not trying to get god to curse your enemies.

Notwithstanding the fact that it is always acceptable to ask god for something, I have always felt weird doing so. Not because I don't believe god cares about me, my hopes, dreams, wants and needs. But it seems rather selfish to only ask for something in my own behalf. When there are so many other people in need of help who probably don't have people to pray for them. In former times such a thought would have resulted in me becoming a monk, or a beedsman.

how fortunate we are to live in the twenty first century however, where all the collected knowledge of mankind can be accessed without leaving your living room.

after a lot of research the solution I came up with. Everyday I try to pray for an intention that doesn't get enough attention. The common example is multinational chocolate companies, who use slave labor to harvest cacao beans and process the resulting chocolate. Nestle is particularly culpable in this see video below.

However being a commonly cited example of a cause that goes unattended to in prayer and activism, it kind of brings attention to the issue. I try to find issues that no one is paying attention to. And that I don't have time, energy or money to be more of an activist upon.

Doing this prayer once a day clears my conscience to pray on my own behalf. But sometimes I forget to do this, or even worse forget what the current cause actually is. On these occasions I use a prayer that I adapted from one of the prayers at mass. as a universal catch all. I call it the universal intercession.

the prayer

<Greg> God who is the source of all good things, grant the all who call upon you for aide, may by your inspiration find the right path. And with your guidance walk it. We ask this in the name of the creator, redeemer and sanctifier one god eternally amen.


I figure even atheists have inadvertently called upon god's assistance at some point so this pretty much covers everyone both living and dead, we always have to keep the souls in purgatory in mind. Prayers of this nature are always said in the plural. Because even when I am praying this alone. Various saints and angels will join the prayer if I have that intention. Using the plural is the way to ensure this.


I hope this brief look into my catholic ritual practice is helpful for someone. There might be more of these catholic practice type posts in the future.

As I don't think there are quite enough resources, for forging your own practice and identity, while still remaining a faithful catholic.