The Word Among Us

Prayer Resources

Slowing Down—Changing Course

Prayers to accompany inevitable change.

By: Agnes M. Kovacs

Slowing Down—Changing Course: Prayers to accompany inevitable change.  by Agnes M. Kovacs

There comes a time in every life when change is unavoidable.

Advances in technology. Global epidemics. Age. Such changes force us to confront how we ourselves are changing. Looking into the metaphorical mirror is not easy, for we need to acknowledge our losses, to humbly name our contributions, to gather in the fruits of living and loving, to face transition as a necessary part of becoming who we were and are meant to be. All this takes courage, humility, and trust. As a result of this process, we might realize that we have to change course or, if on the right course, have to change speed, perhaps even pull back on the throttle.

In the spiritual life, seasons of change occur, too. Times of slowing down: of treasuring the moments of being rather than cramming them full with doing, of encountering God in change, amidst transitions, in silence. This is a time of practicing contemplation, of letting go of outside expectations, of trying out new ways to pray. This is a time for seeing with new eyes.

The prayers that follow reflect the transitional nature of such a season, with the joys and struggles that accompany any transition.

—Finding Our Voice—

It took time to figure out who I am: to truly believe that I am made in your image and likeness, that I am beloved.
What would it be like if each one of us would believe and live the belief? Might it cut through our defensiveness, mitigate our fears, and open us up wider to each other and to God?
Firmly rooted in our identity, finding our voice in Christ might be just what the world needs.
Let me speak words of consolation; let me be the spark of joy that fires love for you!

—Listening—

We are so used to noise that we filter it out with great efficiency.
Today I am listening.
Listening to life around me:
birds chirping, vehicles passing,
the rustle of leaves on the breeze,
the occasional bark of dogs waking with the morning.
Everything speaks of you if only I listen.
“Open my ears, Lord”—
words and melody echo in my mind.
Open my ears, Lord, is my silent sigh.

—Discernment—

The phone rang.
An invitation came to consider changing course. Which way do I go, Lord?
Grant me wisdom to discern this opportunity;
may I not fall prey to my own vanity of being sought out;
may I be true to commitments already made without shying away from the possibility of growth that a new challenge implies.

—Surrender—

Father, if you are willing, take this cup away from me; still, not my will but yours be done. (Luke 22:42)

—Peace—

Peace, blessed peace!
A gift, a wish, a blessing;
a hard-won state of being
centered in Christ;
a response to the divine offer
that demands all of me.
Peace, blessed peace.

—Aches and Pains of Aging—

I am alive.
I feel my body—that is proof positive that I am alive.

The vigor of youth is oblivious to the body as a unity
of different parts, for youth knows not that the role of joints later in life is to make known, without a doubt, that we exist.

I feel my body.
I am alive.
Thanks be to God!

This is a selection from A Prayer Book for Catholic Women: Traditional and Contemporary Prayers for Every Season of Life by Agnes M. Kovacs (The Word Among Us Press, 2018), available at www.wau.org/books

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