Monday, March 4, 2013

when one hardly knows what to pray for ...

It is hard watching a loved one die a lingering death. It is a time, as a clergy colleague put it, when one hardly knows what to pray for. Does one pray for a miracle? But everyone must die sometime. If not now, when? For more time? To what end: so that they might spend more time in pain? So that their loved ones might have longer to watch them slowly fade away? For a blessed release? How does one pray for the death of one they love?

I have no answers. Perhaps there are no answers. Only the questions with which all must struggle with for themselves. 

For myself, right now, I only pray that the Lord will be merciful. I do not ask as to how that mercy might be shown. And I ask for the grace to accept his mercy in whatever form he chooses to grant it.

My father is due to be discharged today; my mother most likely will be discharged also, to be kept comfortable in the nursing home for how ever long that may be; & my mother-in-law is in increasing pain dealt with by increasingly strong doses of medication.


  1. I dunno if this helps, but in circumstances such as this I always pray that God's Will be done. Since God's Will consists of us getting back to Him in Heaven, I typically ask that He allow the person endure all Purgatory on earth so their soul is fully ready to enter Heaven at death.

    Tis better that we nail ourselves on Earth to Christ than burn with desire for Him in Purgatory. Our sufferings on Earth are worth more here than they will be in Purgatory. Thus, I pray that God, in His Mercy, allows the person to atone in their final days here so they are fresh and blameless upon Death - no purgatory needed!

    My prayers are with you and them. <3

  2. Thanks Gina - my wife & I are going down to Cork again tomorrow morning to see both mums ... I think time is very short for mine ... the hospital decided today it would be too much for her to move her to a hospice ... & it does help to think that their sufferings here may ease their path to heaven. Thanks for all your prayers & support.