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By Cameron Bellm

October 31, 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 the Feast of St. Alphonsus Rodriguez

Holiness, we imagine, is something found before an altar,
Something reached only after hours of kneeling
In the hush of lambent light, before the soft smoke of candles.

Holiness, we imagine, is something reserved for great saints,
Ones with impressive feats or profound insights,
Penned in teetering stacks of books.

Holiness, we imagine, is something grasped only on a mountaintop,
Or deep in a solitary cave, something unobtainable for us
Mere mortals, as we are.

The truth, though, is that sometimes holiness is just opening the door—
To anyone, everyone, always—
And believing that God awaits you on the other side.

St. Alphonsus Rodriguez’s feast day is October 31; read a reflection for his feast day by Br. Matt Wooters, SJ.

Previous Spirit & Verse poem-prayers:
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

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.