Feeding My Soul with Boldness, Tenderness, and Gratitude
by Susan K. Rowland
Feeding My Soul is designed especially for youthe catechist. It names a catechetical value and gives you the words of prayer for your personal time with the Lord.
As we celebrate the feast of All Saints, Lord, grace me with the gift of boldness and help me to teach my learners about the saints’ holy boldness.
If there is one thing I notice about the saints, it is their boldness. It doesn’t seem to matter whether they were introverts or extroverts, working in the world or living quietly in a monastery. Some, like Peter and Paul, traveled the world, preached the gospel, and died for their faith. Others, like your mother, Mary, and St. Thérèse of Lisieux, were bold in quiet, everyday ways, bestowing love upon everyone around them no matter how difficult or stressful the situation.
Help me, Lord, to develop a saintly boldness, an inner attitude that says, “I will put you first and other people next. I will seek the kingdom before all else. I will be available for you to use me to bless others.”
I realize that my boldness may take public form. But it may be internal, knowable only to myself and you.
And help me, Lord, to model that boldness and teach my learners about it. May we all be bold as your saints. Amen.
Gentle Jesus, I bring to mind my beloved dead and all the faithful who have gone before me in faith. I have been through a few funerals myself, and my losses still grieve me. I take comfort in the fact that you, Jesus, wept at the tomb of your friend Lazarus, even though you knew God was about to raise him from the dead. I believe that you have conquered death and will raise us all up—but grief remains an inevitable companion during this earthly journey.
For my learners, our discussion of All Souls’ Day may or may not evoke feelings of loss and sadness, depending on whether they have lost someone close to them. For some, death is an abstract thing they have never experienced. They may fear it the way someone who has never been stung by a bee fears bees. They may simply be puzzled by it. For others who have suffered the “sting” of death, All Souls’ Day may bring painful memories.
Help me to treat each of my learners, as well as myself, with tenderness as we discuss what All Souls’ Day means to each of us. Amen.
I am grateful for all the gifts you have given me, Lord. I am especially grateful for those wonderful Christians who have gone before me and given me their example of faithfulness.
As I celebrate the saints on All Saints’ Day and our loved ones who have gone before us on All Souls’ Day, may I be deeply grateful for all who have shaped me and taught me by their lives. Help me remember their holiness, their humanness, their strength, their weakness. For we are yours, Lord, with our goodness and our faults, our wisdom and our cluelessness, our heroic efforts and our horrific laziness, our courage and our complacency. Whatever our stories—whether we are canonized or known to only a few, living on earth or gone beyond this life—we are all your family, brothers and sisters, the people you are in love with, the communion of saints.
Help me always to be grateful for the saints who have shaped me and taught me—for, with your grace, I am a saint-in-the-making. Amen.
Susan Rowland, a catechist for over 20 years, is the author of Make Room for God: Clearing Out the Clutter (St. Anthony Messenger Press). She is a freelance writer and nationally known speaker. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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