Catholic Priests & religious throughout the world pray five times a day. Whether you are a nun or the Pope, five times a day, we pray the same prayers. It is one of the many things that unites us as Servants to the Body of Christ.
The last prayer of the day is:
May the all-powerful Lord grant us a restful night and a peaceful death.
Thankfully, God continues to grant me the former, and not the latter!
It’s such a simple, and yet powerful moment, this the last utterance of the day. I have been saying this prayer since Seminary, twenty-five years so far, and it’s meaning and power are never lost on me.
It is an amazing experience! Every day, my sister and brother clerics and I are so willing to bear our souls so completely to God’s will and direction. Whether we wake up here to serve another day or wake up in Heaven, in God’s warm embrace- that we welcome the outcome without reservation.
Sort of brings me to ground. Reminds me that, regardless of where I am or what I am doing, at the end of the day, it’s up to God what happens next.
Sometimes, we need that reminder. Often a hard thing to admit- that we can so easily get ahead of ourselves, forgetting our true nature- our purpose driven life, and focus on ourselves- who we think we are, and all too often- who we want other people to think who we are.
A self-serving life is not a life of sacrifice and service to others.
Grant me a peaceful death takes on new meaning.
Grant me the peaceful death of my self-serving ego; my consumerism, and my self-centered ideal.
Grant me the peaceful death of my self-portrayal of personal importance, my self-aggrandizing, and my poor behavior.
We should all beg for the death of that person within us, so what when we awaken after the restful night we prayed for, we can be renewed, wiped clean, and ready to be Servants of God… and each other.
Grant me a peaceful death.