November 5, 2020 — 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. As we remember the Jesuits and all our faithful departed this month, she offers this “Prayer for the Month of Holy Souls.”
A Prayer for the Month of the Holy Souls
In these days when we look back
Upon generations of the mercy of God,
Brilliantly lit in those who came before us,
I like to think, too,
Of the mercy that will stretch beyond us.
We have laid so many to rest this year
That our grief is ever present with us,
But so, likewise, are our loved ones—
The paths they walked, the prayers they prayed for us.
May we realize, too, that someday
We also will live on earth only in memory,
Carried in the hearts of those who loved us.
In remembering our death, may we move through each day
With tenderness, with gentleness,
With love strong enough to stretch that thin veil
Between heaven and earth into transparency.
May we light the candles that will brighten the lives
Of those who will come after us.
And may we always recognize this truth:
That the goodness of God
Is matched only by its might,
Ever transcending both life and death.
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 and her husband have two young sons, and, blessedly, playing with Legos often nurtures her spiritual life as much as reading the lectionary. She writes at cameronbellm.com and on Instagram, @cameronbellm.