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October 27, 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.

“Mary, Mother of Us All”

There is a tender figure who stands watch
Over the bookends of our lives,
Holding us in our birth and in our death.
It is Mary who rejoices at our kicks in the womb
Just as she did at the visitation.
It is Mary who celebrates our first breaths at birth,
Just as she did at the nativity.
It is Mary who keeps vigil with us as we pass into death,
Just as she did at the crucifixion.
And it is Mary who stands ready to embrace us
At every moment in between.
When the shepherds proclaimed the good news of Christ,
Mary treasured and pondered it in her heart.
She treasures and ponders us, too,
Each one of us a sacred mystery.
May the days of our lives be shaped into melody,
Composing a holy hymn of love to you,
Mary, Mother of Jesus,
Mary, Mother of us all.
Amen.

Previous Spirit & Verse poem-prayers:

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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