Going boldly into Lent

A friend called and said she had found a lump under her arm. Carelessly, to deflect her from  her own worst thinking, the kind of  black hole into which we are all prone to tumble, I said: ‘I’ll  launch into  all those  impenetrable  Catholic  prayers found in the Racolta and litanies of obscure saints, that’ll  sort this out.’ She laughed, nervously. Nothing much else to be said.

She went off to see  specialists, have  tests and wait for results, I sat and prayed hard, stumbling over prayers,  distracted, bored,  worrying, unconfident, bumbling, reciting by rote, airless, dull,  persisting.

And  the lump  was  found to be a harmless cyst. She is convinced the prayers worked. I  believe prayers ‘work’ but often not in ways we are  able to grasp.


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