Pacing Prayers

My prayer to offer a special grace was answered

By Mark Moore, RN
St. Joseph Medical Center

Each day before work, I pray. While walking, I say the Lord's Prayer and others to the rhythm of my feet - my "pacing prayers." When I get into the elevator, I lightly tap my feet to a prayer.

One day, I found myself working in the emergency transition area. I came across an 80-year-old female patient. She was situated in one of those inconvenient rooms that have not yet received an update. Nevertheless, she made no particular complaints.

She, like many of her age, was a little slow in her responses but made her needs known. As is often the case with spiritual people, some of her possessions indicated her beliefs. I noticed some holy cards and a prayer book - clues that she was a Catholic, as am I.

At bedtime, I alluded to her catholicity and asked if she prayed the rosary, which many traditional elders do as a cherished form of worship and meditation. She responded, with surprise, "Do you do that here?" I had a rosary out in my car and went to retrieve it. I had some holy water in a bottle, too, so I brought that along.

Back at the patient's bedside, I asked if she wanted to be blessed with holy water by herself or me. She preferred me, so I traced the sign of the cross over her. Then I presented her with my rosary.

Before leaving, I had the satisfaction of seeing her asleep with the rosary clutched in her hands and in a state of peace. In retrospect, my pacing prayers of that morning
- to offer special grace to a receptive patient - had been answered.

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Mark Moore, RN
Mark Moore, RN