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December 7, 2021 — Spirit & Verse is a monthly column of original poem-prayers composed by Cameron Bellm, a Seattle-based writer and mother of two whose “Prayer for a Pandemic” went viral, bringing solace and comfort to many struggling during COVID-19.

Answer the Knock: A Prayer for Advent 2021

What kind of inns do we have to offer this year,

Our doorways draped with grief,

Our holiday feasts spiced with fear and uncertainty?

Plagues have come in ages before ours—

Wars, crises, violence, and loss—

And they will follow after us, too.

Still, year after year, on the coldest, darkest night,

The Light of all the World seeks shelter.

Will we open our doors?

To answer the knock is to give hope a foothold,

To look despair straight in the eyes and say,

“Emmanuel. God is with us.”

Christ comes not to erase our pain

But to dwell in it with us,

Cradling it in his holy hands,

Illuminating it with his brilliant compassion,

Transfiguring it into something that sings:

A meeting place for the human and the divine.

Amen.

Previous Spirit & Verse poem-prayers:
Mary, Mother of Us All
A Prayer for World Day of Migrants and Refugees
A Prayer for Peace When the World is on Fire
A Prayer for the Ignatian Year
A Prayer for the Month of the Sacred Heart
A Prayer for Mary’s Month During a Pandemic
St. Joseph Prayer
A Prayer for Ash Wednesday
A Prayer for the Feast of the Epiphany
A Prayer for the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe
A Prayer for the Month of the Holy Souls
A Prayer for Living “Fratelli Tutti”
Our Lady of Sorrows
A Prayer for the Beginning of the School Year
A Prayer for the Feast of St. Ignatius

Cameron Bellm is a Seattle-based writer of prayers, poems, and devotionals. After completing her Ph.D. in Russian literature at the University of California, Berkeley, she traded the academic life for the contemplative life, informed by Ignatian spirituality and Catholic social teaching. She is the author of “A Consoling Embrace: Prayers for a Time of Pandemic” (23rd Publications, 2020). Cameron and her husband have two young sons, and, blessedly, playing with Legos often nurtures her spiritual life as much as reading the lectionary. You can find her at cameronbellm.com and on Instagram, @cameronbellm.

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