Praying Our Losses

by Kristin Donworth, RDC

 

Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted.

MATTHEW 4:5

 

From the depth I call to you, Lord, hear my cry.

Catch the sound of my voice raised up, pleading.

Let your ears be attentive to my voice, my cries for mercy!

If you kept track of our sins, Yahweh, who could stand before you?

But with you is forgiveness, and for this we revere you.

PSALM 130:1-4

 

Mary Caroline (later Mother Mary Veronica) was inconsolable at the death of her little brother, Charles. What was this specter death, who without warning could enter a house and leave grief and emptiness where there had been joy and contentment?

Later, Chandler (Mary Caroline’s son) had been thrown from his horse and received a severe head injury. Chandler would never be the same. All the bright promise would never be fulfilled. Her heart was well-nigh crushed. Yet, this was the way God had chosen, and she must make her offering, uniting herself with His will, placing herself and all that was hers in His hands, to dispose of according to His infinite wisdom and love.

Chandler was 39 years old at the time of his injury. He died in 1925 at the age of 67.

 

So I wait for you, Yahweh—my soul waits, And in your word I place my trust.

My soul longs for you, Yahweh, More than sentinels long for the dawn,

More than sentinels long for the dawn. Israel, put your hope in Yahweh,

For with Yahweh is abundant loveand the fullness of deliverance.

God will deliver Israel from all its failings.

 

Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted.

The beatitudes are a great source of challenge and consolation for people of faith. “Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted,” is one that applies to us all at one time or another in our lives. For many the loss of a treasured toy or a favorite pet was the first introduction to a sense of mourning and emptiness. What was your first experience of loss? How did you react?

As life goes on, loss is to be expected. As people of faith we learn to allow the God of Compassion to comfort us as we move from speaking of and loving someone or something in the present tense to the new realm of speaking in the past tense of those we continue to love. As one grows into this new space, the realization that on so many levels our loss has increased our capacity to live on in new, even more intense, relationships enriched by fond memories and new understandings.

 

“The truth of the matter is, you’ll weep and mourn . . . but your grief will turn to joy.”

JOHN 16:20

 

From the depths I call to you, Lord. Lord, hear my cry. Send your comfort, your healing and your blessings to those
Who have suffered the loss of mobility, independence and control over their lives
Who have been damaged by violence, corruption or hatred
Who have suddenly and harshly experienced the loss of someone dearly loved
Who have journeyed with loved ones during long hours of suffering, helpless to ease the pain
Who carry daily the pain of losing a dear one through mental illness or sudden brain damage
Who carry loneliness and emptiness with no family or friends to support them.

 

Lord, hear the prayers of your people.

Send your compassion to heal the broken hearted, to comfort the lonely and fearful, for we know that blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted.

 

Photo of the altar in the Chapel of the Divine Compassion in White Plains, NY