I offer a silent prayer to all the firefighters battling the flames
For those forced to move out of its fiery path
There are things and situations that are literally out of our control, when all we can do is take the time to breathe. To see beyond the smoggy din that surround our lives and grasp for air.
Looking out into the ominous sky, I look beyond it and look deeply at its implications for my own well being. I can let it drag my mood down, or look beyond it to see hope. Within my magnified space, I offer up a silent prayer to God for all the firefighters working vigorously to put out the flames. I pray for all those who have been displaced by the gravity of the forest fires (Quebec). I let God do his job.
just to breathe. i am alive
grasping for air
my magnified space
allowing myself to go with the flow
Don’t forget Jesus too often withdraw from his disciples to pray: 16 But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.Luke 5:16
Philippians 4:6 reminds us to take the time and offer up our angst and worries to God:
6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
There is anxiety and stress. There is also depression. Coming from a Christian and Chinese cultural milieu, I use to feel guilt that I would have these conditions.
As part of my own psychological and spiritual journey, I now acknowledge that it’s ok to go through anxiety, stress, fear and even depression. Going through life changes and growth is never easy. It can disable me, or it can create so much fear and panic that I don’t want to leave the confines of my home.
I have been working with a St. Ignatius Spiritual Director for the past few years as part of my own spiritual journey to love, know and do God’s will. Part of this is shedding away all the layers of “things” piled upon me in my 60 plus years of life.
The awareness of how much psychological and emotional baggage I carry on my shoulders is daunting. Spiritual awareness is letting go of all the “stuff” that keeps me from God.
Hand in hand in my spiritual journey the past few months is seeing my art therapist. Through visualization, I can explore those areas in my psyche which chains me. Art therapy and my spiritual direction helps in healing me to be the person I was meant to be in God’s image.
I am going through a personal transformation and letting go of emotional and psychological chains to becoming my authentic self. Free from the sins of the “father” and all those “ism” that has unconsciously molded and shaped the neurotic, anxious and stressed out me. It is and has been a healing journey.
Christian work ethic was my moral compass. Topped with the drive, angst and expectations of my immigrant parents – where my Chinese cultural repertoire often conflicted with my Christian one. I was a CBC – Canadian born Chinese.
The pace of life since university and then career set the pace for the next 30 years. It shaped my friendships and social environment. Fast forward into my 60s is the realization that I existed in a pressure cooker. The past many months have seen me breaking free to find my authentic self in the mundanity of my life. The career that once gave me much joy, is now but a shallow prison. Friendships were based on a thin thread of association and easily sever (for the first time C.S. Lewis’ The Four Loves made sense). I let the “stuff” of the world come between me and God.
Luke 24 is pivotal in my state of flow. Mediating on Mary Magdalene’s grief over the death of her beloved friend and the disciples focus on the current news until they recognize Jesus when he broke bread, all help me understand that peace and joy comes only from fixing our focus on Jesus.
With my eyes on Jesus, I can move towards healing my mind, body and soul. All those angst and inner pain starts to slowly flow out of me. Yes, it is taking proactive action on my part to get better. Now, I can move towards the next phase of my life because my gaze is on Jesus. Only then can I let go of my baggage. I can now grieve and walk towards the light – because I am safe in Jesus’ embrace.
Resource: The Catholic Guide To Depression, by Aaron Kheriaty
Thank you for letting me share my journey with you. Jesus loves each of us at whatever point in life we are at. I pray that each of you walk with him into the light. All the things we once deemed important, hurtful, or heavy falls to the wayside.
This past few weeks, so many around me are going through life (filled) challenges. Many are in a “clinical” depression, sad, or anxious. There are a few friends going through cancer treatments. For some, they cannot see the light and cannot grasp the inner joy within. I lack words of comfort.
For many their darkness stems from not only the death of those close to them, but from the dark cloak of secularism which has taken away their soul and replacing it with shallow emotionalism. Where has their inner joy, peace and love gone?
A young friend just lost her mom and bestie, and she asked me why she is being punished. “Where is God?” “God doesn’t exist!” She is not the only friend who has experienced the death of love ones. I can only listen and silently pray in my heart for them.
There is another recovering from addiction, and sometimes the pain is so bad she has strayed away from her program – “falling off the wagon.”
I recall Father D. Callaway, MIC once saying that therapy without healing the soul (spiritual) is ineffective. The mind and body may get better, but the spirit is weak and often times they fall back into their addiction.
How do I proactively help them? Yes, I try to listen mindfully without opening my big mouth. I give a hug. I also say a silent prayer for them asking for the light of Jesus to touch their souls. I pray for their healing, or I send them prayers to pray.
When someone is ill, praying is the last thing on their mind. When in a depression, it’s difficult to see the light. When someone is going through the pain of lost, no words can comfort. That’s why it’s up to us to pray for their healing, pray a rosary, or light a candle, or offer a mass on their behalf, and above all something I have learnt of late – to listen mindfully. With Jesus in us, this is what we are called to do.
Going through the “dark night of the soul” is real. It is also a process of drawing one nearer to God. There is a light at the end of the tunnel so to speak. God is ever loving and merciful – He waits to hear from us. He waits for us to seek him to help us go through the “dark night of the soul”.
He welcomes our prays for the other.
There is also the freedom to choose. God also wants us – sick, depressed and going through life challenges – to seek him freely.
God also seeks for those in need to seek him from where they are at in their life’s journey. Following Father Mike today – Day 8 helped me understand this more fully: https://youtu.be/m6f2J4Cr3Ps
God Bless all those going through trials, illness, depression, and lost of love ones. Those of us in the faith, let us pray, pray, and pray for them. We can pray the Rosary 📿, light a candle at church, offer a mass. 🙏💕
Note: Forgive me for doing injustice to Saint John of the cross and his “dark night of the soul”. There is a multi-fold meaning to his work, and I do him a great injustice by the flippant and generalized way I am appropriating his phrase.
I write this post for a friend and all those who are undergoing treatment for cancer. They may not know Jesus. The most important part is our authentic love – the Jesus in each of us – who want to help but feel a lost as to how. Offering our prayers and sharing with them these healing prayers is an important part of being mindfully helpful to those in need of our support.
Below is a compilation of simple prayers that asks God for strength, healing and hope.
Let us pray and share these with those we know who have cancer and are undergoing radiation and chemotherapy.
Strength and Courage Prayer
Almighty God, please give me bravery and strength, patience and understanding as I go through this tough moment in my life, so that my spirit does not shatter.
And, with time and my will to live, I will be able to heal and recover. I pray that, in the face of difficulty and grief, I will continue to see life as it should be seen: beautiful and full of potential.
Amen, I pray in Jesus’ name.
A Cancer Patient’s Faithful Prayer
You, my God and Creator, have given me life and have provided me with opportunities and experiences. I’m grateful for my friends and family, for simple pleasures, and for the great and inspiring things you’ve shared with me.
Even though I have cancer, and life has been so hard and debilitating that it tears my heart and heightens my dread, my confidence in you still provides me with solace and hope. I put my faith in your healing grace.
A Simple Healing Catholic Prayer For Cancer
Lord of the Heavens, I’m safe behind your magnificent love wings. I live within your tender heart.
Your touch has the power to heal. I can ask for repair and trust in your goodness via Christ’s sufferings. You are my Lord, Savior, Healer, and Friend. I am at home in your warm embrace. Amen.
There are times when we need to talk to Jesus and ask for his help. It’s as simple as that, but in our brokenness, our pride gets in the way.
Or we have reached a point in our lives that we no longer believe in the good around us. Yeah, there are lots or reason why in our brokenness we don’t see. A veil of despair and disbelief covers our eyes and psychological mind-frame. There is hope!
Know that Jesus is the way!
A simple prayer for those in need:
“The Book of Psalms is a collection of cries, prayers and praise. The authors of each chapter experienced every struggle, heartache and fear imaginable. This collection of comforting verses will help guide you toward whole and complete healing.”
“Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He sent out his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave. Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind.” ~ Psalm 109:19-21
“LORD my God, I called to you for help, and you healed me.” ~ Psalm 30:2
“The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. The righteous person may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all; he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken. Evil will slay the wicked; the foes of the righteous will be condemned. The LORD will rescue his servants; no one who takes refuge in him will be condemned.” ~ Psalms 34:17-22
“Praise the LORD, my soul, and forget not all his benefits – who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion.” ~ Psalms 103:2-4
“Have mercy on me, LORD, for I am faint; heal me, LORD, for my bones are in agony.” ~ Psalms 6:2
“I said, “Have mercy on me, LORD; heal me, for I have sinned against you.” ~ Psalm 41:4
“Hear, LORD, and be merciful to me; LORD, be my help.” You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy” ~ Psalms 30:10-11
“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” ~ Psalms 73:26
I pray Jesus will heal your pains and troubles with his healing embrace. God Bless 🙏💕
I confess that I am a shopaholic. When I give into my weakness, Satan and his evil minions jump at every opportunity to create a divide between God and me.
A good example, is while online shopping, I spent more money than I had anticipated. I reasoned it was a sale too good to miss – after all it’s a “Back to School” sale. I should know better, especially as my own son was prepping for a huge back to school sale at his stores. Well, I fell into the guile’s of advertisement and “deals”.
Recalling afterwards my crazed mind as I put items into my cart and pressed pay, not once but twice, I realized and bemoaned my indulgence into the flesh and prayed seeking God’s forgiveness. Seeking for the strength to turn away from things of this world. Thank goodness our God is merciful.
God has a way of speaking to me that always strikes at my inner core. It results in a deeper understanding of Sacred Scripture:
22 Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. 23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes.24 Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! 25 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?26 Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?
27 “Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 28 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! 29 And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. 30 For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Fatherknows that you need them. 31 But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
This verse is especially poignant and meaning because it was part of my meditation for the past few weeks. The depth of meaning in it didn’t hit me until I committed the self indulgent deed of falling prey to my own shopping frenzy.
It was only after I’ve fallen to my own vice that I can finally understand Luke 12:22-34.
God is merciful and will continue to guide us to become more aware of the narrow road towards holiness. I am thankful for his teachings, and graceful for the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Satan and his minion are ever present and waiting to prey on our weaknesses. Vigilance Is the key. I can only battle evil with the help of Jesus. I came across the work of an Exorcist – Fr. Ripperger through the Augustine Institute. Please take the time to watch the following videos. They will help each of us to battle our brokenness with the help of the triune.
The past year and a half, has seen me work towards a more balanced spiritual, mental, emotional and physical well-being. None of this would have been possible without a deeper intimacy with Jesus and his divine grace. After becoming depressed and isolated at home during the onset of the Covid Pandemic, my only solace was the Bible. I remember praying for God’s intervention and guidance for healing in my life – to help me find him again, and “to be a stronger me in my own existence”. As I reflect back, Jesus has always been there as he is for each of us. Jesus was simply waiting for me and each of us to invite him into our lives for a deeper relationship.
20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.
Thank you Jesus for the grace to know you more intimately, love you more deeply, and to walk with you more closely.
In fact, through working with a Saint Ignatius Spiritual Director, Art Therapist, and physical exercise, I am now better equip spiritually, emotionally and physically to step back into the ring of life and be the person God meant me to be. That is of course not without the daily challenges that comes with living – but with Jesus in my heart and the foundations of the Catholic faith, I am a stronger me in my own existence.
A psalm of David.
1 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, 3 he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. 4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Catholic Prayers For Soul Healing
O’ holy one
I have come before you today who needs your healing hand. Everything is possible in you.
Hold my heart within you, and renew my mind, body, and spirit.
I am lost, but I come to you with grace.
You gave us life, and you also give us the gift of eternal bliss.
Give me the strength to move forward on the path you have made for me.
Guide me towards better health, and give me the wisdom to identify the people you have around me to help me get better.
If you have bad memories, anguish, anxiety, or guilt, a “prayer for soul healing” will address those worries. It also focuses on forgiving the causes of your pain.
Catholic Prayers For Depression
Sometimes the thing we need most in order to heal — or even to think about healing — is some good, restful sleep. This prayer asks Jesus to help you sleep, to free the demons from your thoughts, and to have angels over you while you sleep.
Thank you for being with me through all the ups and downs of my life and the blessings you have given me, for which I admire and thank you.
You know the disease I’ve been battling for a long time and there’s little that can be done by the medical profession – but believe me, I’m awesome and wonderfully made and you know every part of it is my body. You know exactly why I’ve been sick for so long. I come to you now asking that you will do complete recovery work on my body – whatever is causing this persistent problem. I pray that you, by your mercy, give me the health and strength that I need.