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June 2, 2022 — 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.

A Prayer for Gun Reform

When Jesus told Peter to put away his sword,

He spoke a truth both simple and profound:

“Those who live by the sword, die by the sword.”

And we are dying. And dying. And dying.

There is no safe place in a country

That swells with an ocean of weapons.

Lord of mercy, prince of peace,

Strengthen the lungs of the living

To cry out for change.

May our song of lament be long and loud,

May its deep roar shake us from complacency,

Until we are free from terror,

Until we may say, and we may see,

That no more, no more, no more shall perish.


Previous Spirit & Verse poem-prayers:
A Prayer for the Visitation
A Prayer for Holding and Being Held by the Earth
A Prayer for Liminal Spaces
Answer the Knock: An Advent Prayer
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 and on Instagram, @cameronbellm.