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Posts Tagged ‘Sophie’


1 Thessalonians 5:16-18Pray Without Ceasing

Friday, November 2, 2018

Rejoice always.  Pray without ceasing.  In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus. 

I have come from my son’s house after spending the afternoon with their four-year old while he and his wife visit funeral homes to make plans for a service that will honor the life of their infant daughter.  Sophie died too quickly a few days ago.  And in all of the wrenching grief, there is prayer.

We sit at a meal together as night closes in.  A friend visits bearing fresh fruit and vegetables.  We laugh over small things, finding comfort in one another’s presence.  The deep sadness is just out of sight but still with us.  And in all of this quiet pain, there is prayer.

It is not the will of God that we suffer.  It is the will of God that we rejoice in spite of the pain, knowing that life here is only temporary.

It is not the will of God that we sink into darkness.  It is the will of God that we rise with him into the light, knowing that life in Christ is never-ending.

Pain cannot be erased, but with patient prayer and unswerving reliance on God it blooms into a rejoicing beyond any happiness we can imagine.  It brings firmness out of the smelting fire.  It brings purity out of the crucible.  It brings a holy presence into a place where only sadness was previously felt.  It brings a knowing that we are eternal and that we will meet again in newness despite any separation this earth can visit on us.

It is through pain that we find our true selves.  It is in pain that we kneel before God in petition.  It is after pain that we rise again in the crystalline newness of our life in Christ.

For all of these reasons . . . we must pray without ceasing.


A re-post from September 30, 2011.

Image from: http://www.holytrinitynewrochelle.org/prayer.html

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A re-post from September 26, 2011. 

Our baby granddaughter arrived yesterday.  She fluttered into life . . . and then as quickly as she was with us, she was gone.  Holding her lifeless body, the shell she occupied in pre-natal months for a too short passage on this earth, I knew she was no longer there.  But just as surely, I felt her hovering over our shoulders, telling us that all was well . . . even as we struggled to feel her presence.  Even as we struggled to find shelter in the storm.

Psalm 91Finding Shelter

Monday, October 29, 2018

This psalm has been set to music and is often sung at funerals.  We can see why.

This prayer is intoned by pilgrims who travel to spiritual places.  We can read why.

The psalmist tells us that our journey is never smooth; it wends its way among disasters and calamities.  We have experienced this.

The psalmist reminds us that there is only one shelter from these storms.  This we believe when we find shelter after we have been left alone, been abandoned or betrayed.

The Lord commands his angels about you to guard you in your way . . .

Today is the Feast Day of Guardian Angels and the Mass readings recount to us the first time angels are mentioned in scripture: Thus says the Lord: “See, I am sending an angel before you to guard you on the way and bring you to place I have prepared.  (Exodus 23:20Today God speaks to us to say: Look, I have sent my special messenger to you to assure that you do not lose your way, to protect you from the terrors you will live, to bring you to the sheltered place beneath my wings – these wings that raise you up above the cauldron of life. 

We have reflected before about God’s messengers who come to us when we most need help.  We might spend some time today meditating again on the way these miraculous creatures work in and with us.  They may be evanescent beings who inhabit another plane and who spend their existence doing God’s biding.  They may be friends who abide with us during trials.  They may be strangers who flicker through our lives to heal and save.  And they are there even though we may be totally unaware of them; but they accompany us everywhere at all times.

When we feel as though we are falling into a bottomless chasm, when we want to celebrate a new joy that arrives, when we move through an ordinary day in an ordinary way . . . we will always be accompanied by our angels.  And let us remind one another to take the hand of the guardian angel God has sent to accompany us on our journey.  This angel knows us best of all.  This angel guides and protects.  This angel leads us to the one shelter that is never shaken, that lasts for all time . . . the shelter of our God.

A postscript to Sophie, whom I held for a little while . . .

Your name means wisdom . . . visit us often;

Your little face is beautiful . . .  smile on us daily;

Your grace is eternal . . . come running to meet us when we see you again in the fullness of God’s time;

You are our special messenger . . . may we always remember your significance. 

We love you . . . and we know that you love us, too.  Amen.


This reflection was written on  October 2, 2009 and is posted as a Favorite. 

Image from: http://babymichaelsjourney.blogspot.com/2010/04/michaelss-sand-angels.html 

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