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By Cameron Bellm

February 2, 2023 — 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 the Bleak Midwinter

This time of year, when every bough is bare

And every corner of the sky a deadened gray,

It’s hard to find signs of life in the created world—

And maybe also in ourselves.

Long past the vibrant joy of Christmas,

Not yet arrived at the nourishment of Lent,

The world around us and the world within us

Can seem decidedly dormant. Stilled. Frozen over.

In these cold and darkened days,

Remind us that you gently cradle all seasons,

And let us see with fresh hope the new life

That is borne within dry branches.

Remind us that the ice will melt,

First in tiny rivulets, then in rushing streams—

That living water will yet flow.


Previous Spirit & Verse poem-prayers:

Every Family Is a Holy Family
A Prayer for the Feast of Christ the King
A Prayer for the Season of Creation
A Prayer for the Feast of St. Alberto Hurtado
Ignatius and the Stars: A Prayer for the Close of the Ignatian Year
A Prayer for Gun Reform
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

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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.