March 2016: Prayer Blanket

~by Paula Veloso Babadi

“…so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another.” Romans 12:5

Prayer Blanket

Last November when I mentioned at a local parish Hearts Afire retreat session that I would not be attending due to upcoming surgery, one of my sisters in Christ, Sheila, brought me a prayer blanket. We were at Mass, and I cried when she gave it to me. She said it was from the whole group. I had heard about the Covered in Prayer ministry, but really didn’t know much about it. As soon as I was able to place the perfectly colored and patterned blanket over me and say the prayers, I could feel the love, warmth, compassion, and blessings conveyed in the very fabric that comforted my welcoming shoulders.

To understand the enormity of what getting this blanket meant, you need to know that many years ago after attending a Christ Renews His Parish weekend (CRHP), I gave a witness to the next CRHP group on Christian Community. For most of my life, I practiced my faith devoutly and quietly, in the background and outskirts of parish life, alone. CRHP was the beginning of my journey to outwardly confirming belonging in the community, the body of Christ. I progressed over the years to participating in church life when I was able and receiving that blanket signified externally I was and am part of the Christian community.

The story doesn’t end there. I was so taken by this gift, so comforted, that I hurriedly made a prayer blanket to give to my Mother for her birthday. I brought it with me to Pensacola before it could be prayed over by the People of Praise on Tuesday or blessed during the Wednesday mass with all the other blankets. My Mum had never heard of a prayer blanket before and I explained what had happened to me and how I wanted her to have one too. After I came home from work at the Pensacola office one day, she gave it back to me letting me know how nice it was, but she wanted the prayers, blessings and mass that came along with it. Of course, I totally agreed to make sure the blanket went through the proper process.

I brought the blanket home with me and Sue from the Hearts Afire group took it to have it prayed over, blessed and returned to me at our next group retreat session. So, I sent the blanket back to my mother along with the envelope of prayers, readings and rosary. To my delight, I got a phone call late one evening. Mum had received her prayer blanket that day, used it and couldn’t wait to tell me how she immediately felt the difference in her blanket after it truly was “Covered in Prayer”. It became so clear to me then, how the body of Christ extends far beyond local parish life. Our Catholic faith creates a communion among believers and a comfort and belonging that comes with being part of the body of Christ, no matter our physical location. “We are many parts, we are all one body…” is a living testament of truth.

Prayer Blanket

~ Paula Veloso Babadi

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Fibers filled

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With the Father’s fervent love

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Shaped through the Spirit

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Made whole because of the Son

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Pressed together and spread

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By the Body of Christ

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Warm us

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Heal us

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Cover us.


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Paula Veloso Babadi has worked in the health care industry for over thirty five years, but her true passion is poetry. She is a member of the St. John’s Chapter of the national Catholic Writers Guild and a regular contributor to the St. Joseph’sReflections Newspaper. Growing up in England and Pensacola with her Filipino and British parents and marrying into her Iranian family, she now lives in Jacksonville, Florida with her husband, daughter and nearby three grown sons and grandchildren.

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