We at the IRL are thinking about getting more deeply involved in the prison ministry field. We get many letters from prisoners, mostly men, asking for donations of prayer cards, books and bibles. Some however are asking to do more for the Church. One group of men describes themselves as “monks in blue.” They live a monastic life in the confines of their cell and seek personal holiness while trying to be evangelists to others. Our main correspondent will be receiving a degree in theology this year through a correspondents course.
We got another letter today from a regular writer who relayed to us a beautiful story. He is a very active evangelist in prison with the heart of a lion. Their prison chaplain retired, so they have volunteers who come to distribute communion. Here is a story from last week:
Today there was a mixup and two groups were scheduled to be in the chapel at the same time; ours and the Buddhists. The Buddhists got there first. But, instead of going home, the volunteers asked if we could have it outside. We did and it was awesome. It is a powerful thing to have a Communion service right in the prison yard with the prison staff going on all around us and the devil couldn’t do a thing to stop us. This is my monastery and my mission field. God, is that cool!
These men ask us what they can help us do with their prayers. We sometimes give them the names of faithful communities who are struggling with vocations. These are very sacrificial men, seeking to be men of God in trying circumstances. How beautiful is their ministry.