I met someone yesterday who knew me from when I used to play music in Rockhampton. She was a reporter, and says she wrote an article on me and a few others to promote the arts in the region. As we got to talking, I realised that she is the granddaughter of a woman in my parish. I said “Oh! I know her!” Then the conversation briefly shifted gear, which I did not expect.
This woman is your typical daily-Mass-going, Rosary-loving Catholic, something that her granddaughter clearly did not connect with on any real level. This girl made jokes, saying “Yeah, gran is a bit… hard-core… a bit too full on…” I said “Your grandmother has a beautiful, pious faith which inspires me quite a lot.” I went on to explain that it’s people like her in the parish who support me the most, by their prayers but also by their great devotion which finds fruit in acts of service. It’s these people who are in the church when no one else is, vacuuming the carpets, polishing the brass, taking Communion to the Sick and Housebound, and spending an hour or two before the Blessed Sacrament in prayer. These people are the unsung, uncanonised saints among us; those who Saint Laurence would call “the treasures of the Church.”
As we commence a new year, I think to myself “How can I deepen my prayer life, answer the call to serve those around me, grow in holiness?” Accordingly, I’ve started mapping out how my personal morning, evening and night prayer might work. I found some prayers at the end of Pope Francis’ recent documents, Evangelii Gaudium, Laudato Si and Amoris Laetitia, that I would like to memorise and pray on a regular-ish basis. I will certainly be praying the ACBC’s Prayer for the Youth daily. But the true prayer of my heart for the youth I that they might not only learn from the elderly in our Church, but work with them. That might seem a little hard-core for us youngins… a little too full on… But we’re called to be saints, aren’t we? So let’s be. It’s going to be a good year!
Written by Ashwin Acharya
Ashwin Acharya is a Seminarian at the Holy Spirit Seminary based in Brisbane. To read more of Ashwin’s work you can follow him on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ashwineacharya/