Special Issue - Prayer

Nature offers a place to be at peace with God

by Moira Cullings

LEAWOOD — For some, praying isn’t a choice. It’s not something to do when it feels right or the timing is good.

It’s a necessity.

That’s why Curé of Ars parishioner Kristin Schnetzler began making a conscious effort to pray outside.

Life is pretty busy when you have four boys to take care of. For the Leawood parishioner, the time she spent with her sons Lars, Xavier, Asa and Hermann quickly turned into a time of worrying.

“When we’re outside playing, I have a little free time,” she said. “I would think about my problems and would start worrying.”

“Then I realized that this was getting me nowhere quick,” she continued, “so I would start praying a Hail Mary.

“And suddenly the Holy Spirit was there!”

Schnetzler, who was raised Pentecostal, entered the Catholic Church two years ago. She noted that one of the biggest differences between her old faith and her new one is prayer.

“Prayer doesn’t stop as a Catholic,” she said. “We pray for our dead. As a Catholic, I realized that prayer, like God, transcends time and space.”

“As a Protestant, I would think of heaven as this lofty place, not a place full of prayer warriors,” she continued. “But that’s what it is. I can ask saints to petition my cause to Christ himself.”

Schnetzler now uses her time outside with her sons to focus on prayer, allowing herself to be at peace with God.

This time outside brings out a different type of prayer than when she is at church.

Outside, she focuses on praying for her family and the things going on in her life. At Mass, she has a broader focus on her parish, the pope and the entire world.

“Plus, at church, Christ is there in the tabernacle, not just in my heart,” she said.


About the author

Moira Cullings

Moira attended St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Overland Park and Benedictine College in Atchison. She majored in marketing, minored in psychology and played center midfield for the women’s soccer team. Moira joined The Leaven staff as a feature writer and social media editor in 2015. After a move to Denver, Moira resumed her full-time position at The Leaven and continues to write and manage its website, social media channels. Her favorite assignment was traveling to the Holy Land to take photos for a group pilgrimage in 2019.

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