As you can see by my previous post, my youngest child had to face a tragedy yesterday. This is probably one of the first encounters with death that touched him so personally. We are very blessed to have all the grandparents still alive and well and even a great-grandmother who will be celebrating her one-hundredth birthday soon. He came home from school tearful, frightened, and bewildered. However, he also knew it was a time to pray.
We sat together snuggled on the couch for a little while. We talked about his friend. We also prayed for his friend and his family. He then pulled a piece of paper that was tightly folded out of his pocket. When he unfolded it I could see it was the Hail Mary, very carefully printed, with a cross decorating the top of the page. My son explained that one of his classmates wanted to pray but didn’t know how. My son had written out the Hail Mary for him. He prayed the Hail Mary and returned the paper to my son so he could share it with others.
I know that prayer doesn’t have to be a fixed set of words. God knows our thoughts even when we can’t verbalize them. But, there is something very comforting about having a familiar prayer to utter when we don’t know what else to say.