A prayer for when life brings you to your knees
Last year I did a parish-based program called Hearts Afire, an inspiration of Father Michael Gaitley of the Congregation of Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception.
A group of about a dozen women met each week and watched a video chat by Fr. Mike and then discussed it (while snacking, of course).
One aspect that struck us is Fr. Mike’s warm, casual way of speaking. He’d often have us laughing — and since several of us had undergone fairly severe trials recently, laughing was definitely a very good thing.
Fr. Mike has an expression for those times when we’re beyond exasperated. He calls it the crud moment. He uses it to describe those moments when all kinds of little hassles are being thrown at us, and that’s on top of a couple of doozies. You get to that point of … the crud moment.
It’s a feeling of being overwhelmed, not sure where to turn or what to do next, feeling a barrage of things not going great.
I remember him saying, “If you’re young and you haven’t hit a crud moment yet, you will!”
Those moments of real, intense upheaval can hit us in different ways. Sometimes, they bring us as close as we want to ever be to total despair. Other times, they release with a big cry. Often times, they send us to our knees in prayer.
I learned through our group and Fr. Mike’s book, 33 Days to Merciful Love, that that last option is the best way to confront the crud moments. Total surrender, total trust in God and His precious Mother are the surest way of staying on the right track and finding peace.
I love this reflection popularly known as the Prayer of St. Frances de Sales (based on passages from one of his many letters of spiritual direction) that reminds us of God’s presence. I turn to it often, for the crud moments:
Be at peace Do not look forward in fear to the changes of life; rather look to them with full hope as they arise. God, whose very own you are, will deliver you from out of them. He has kept you hitherto, and He will lead you safely through all things; and when you cannot stand it, God will bury you in his arms. Do not fear what may happen tomorrow; the same everlasting Father who cares for you today will take care of you then and every day. He will either shield you from suffering, or will give you unfailing strength to bear it. Be at peace, and put aside all anxious thoughts and imagination.