a prayer for dark times

I recently received the official word that there will be no nine-week season of music, lectures, classes, workshops, worship, dance, friendships, and recreational activities at our beloved Chautauqua Institution this summer. Instead, as with so many other activities these days, there will be online programs.

The news was not unexpected, but sad just the same. We have been spending parts of or entire summers there for over 25 years now, and to us it is sacred ground.

Perhaps, if all goes well, we’ll be able to spend a few weeks at our Chautauqua cottage later in the summer to be with friends — at a safe distance — and to walk beside the beautiful lake. This loss is small compared to so many others, but it is a loss nonetheless.

Chautauqua publishes a prayer from our “interfaith family” each week. The prayer below is from a frequent speaker at Chautauqua and good friend of many there, Sister Joan Chittister, a Benedictine Sister of Erie. You will find more inspiration at her website, including a copy of this prayer to print.

I hope it will give you some solace as it has for me.

Prayer from Chautauqua’s Interfaith Family

Prayer for a Pandemic

God of light
and God of mystery,
give us the faith to see you
in the grey dimness
of this time.

Give us the heart to hear,
in the silence of the sick,
the call to care for those
in pain.

Give us the courage
to find you
where you do not now
appear to be.

Give us the trust it takes
to make our way
through this uncertainty,
this fear,
this seemingly irredeemable sense of limitless loss
to the recognition
of the relentless hope
that each seasonal cycle
of life
confirms in us.

You who made all things
for our good and our growth
show us, too, now
the power of darkness
so that we might see newly—
beyond the ephemeral—
to what are really
the gloriously important things
in life.

Amen

—Sr. Joan Chittister

3 Comments

  1. Linda Hengst on May 17, 2020 at 9:31 am

    Thank you, I needed this prayer this morning.

  2. Ann Fuller on May 18, 2020 at 9:02 am

    Very nice – thank you

  3. Nancy C Lepri on May 18, 2020 at 4:50 pm

    So consoling. Do you think I can use this prayer in my church bulletin?

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