A Simple Prayer

August 03, 2012 at 8:26 PM

A Simple Prayer

I believe that words are sent to you for a reason. I especially believe this when you hear a song on the radio that resonates with you. When this happens, I take a moment and really listen to that song and allow myself to absorb the message that I should be hearing.  I truly believe that if we pay attention, if we listen, if we are open to the idea, then we receive the words we need.  Today the message came to me, not through my music, but in the form of a prayer. 

When my husband and I lost our son 8 months ago, I received a card from a good friend of mine. The card he sent had the word Peace on the front followed by the words of St. Teresa. Her prayer. I remember reading this card with tears in my eyes because of the comfort I felt when I read those words. “May today there be peace within you.” I put this card on our refrigerator as a reminder to find peace everyday, to remember how loved we are and to listen to what God was calling me to do. This was at a time when my loss was so new and my feelings so raw. I was feeling sad, empty, lonely, angry.  I was feeling anything but peaceful. I was trying to find meaning in this loss and was just beginning my hopeful connections journey. 

As the months have passed, that card has slowly been hidden by other messages that clutter my fridge; work out schedules, messages from my son’s school, invitations to weddings, birth announcements, etc. In fact, I forgot the card was even on the fridge.  The daily reminders of schedules and appointments became the priority and St. Teresa was hiding behind that daily survival.

In June, as I was preparing myself for my upcoming due date, I was forced to reflect on my experience, on the loss. It was inevitable and I began re-living the struggle. My anger for the lack of information I received when I had my son resurfaced. I remember telling a friend how I felt like it was December all over again. I was hurt again, I was pained again, I was not feeling peaceful. In our conversation, she mentioned she had just come across St. Teresa’s prayer, which happened to be on her board in her office. She had thought the words would be helpful. She encouraged me to read it. “May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.”

Last night, at my support group, I listened to women whose emotions were so raw after their losses, who were searching for moments of feeling normal again, who were struggling with their faith. Although I am in a different place in my grief journey, I could relate to the emotions and the struggle that these women felt, as I had been there only a few short months ago. I left thinking of them, wondering what my role was in this group now that I feel more joy than sadness, more moments of peace than turmoil. I was hoping the conversation we shared brought them some comfort.

This morning, I was walking through my kitchen and saw that a card had fallen off the refrigerator. It was face down. On the back of the card, it read “Those of us who look for meaning in life’s signs and symbols generally find it. Then use it to help us on our way.” I picked up the card and turned it over. It was the card my friend had sent to me 8 months ago. There were the words staring at me again: St. Teresa’s Prayer.  And once again, there was the message “May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you.”

It is clear this prayer, sent to me in the past through two different friends and now falling into my hands today, was no accident. It is also no coincidence that this prayer is entitled St. Teresa’s prayer of gratitude for I have been filled with appreciation for the friendships that have been strengthened and formulated throughout this journey.

I share these words of St. Teresa with you. It just may be the comfort you or someone you know may need today.

May today there be peace within you. May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith. May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be content knowing you are a child of God. Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. It is there for each and every one of you.                         -St. Teresa’s Prayer


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