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  • Writer's pictureProfiles in Catholicism


Updated: Jul 7



A prayer for those possessed by Satan


“Out of the Black Hole”


Comes only what the Lord allows, what we plead

to be bled from this imprisoning, torturing torment.


Oh Lord, how wondrous are your colors, blending,

suffusing sunsets and sunrises of scattering, sculptural

clouds, rising and running, majestically towering,

and swiftly changing, snowy mountains of mist.


Beautiful, blushing pink blossoms, delicately

flecked by a darker pink, light and dark

dancing, inviting us like bees to taste and

see, how good are the gifts that attract us,

bunched like grapes, waving in the wind,

suggesting a presence, not ominous, but

wavy, leading to a pondering, wondering,

almost greeting-like wave as we walk, of a

glimpsed welcome, as if nature is, briefly,

transparent to the passing Giver of gifts.


Raising the question of the Gardener of these

astonishingly shapely shapes, so integrally

detailed and outwardly golden-bold to behold.


Oh Mary, how you mother the places of quiet, and

peace, of a convent, a monastery or a team of players,

whether musicians, sports men and women, or simply

of friendship and family, fostering communion.


And yet, dear Lord, there are varieties of ever

green, as if impervious to the sun-lit lighting,

shiny, dark green, prickly, spiky and tough,

telling of the closed choice: the darkened place

taking but not retelling the strikingly liked light.


What of a poisonous venom, the long inroads of resentment,

setting injustice as a throne and embellishing it with petty complaints, making it ready for the seat of rebellion, of a radical rejection of

Love’s loving kindness, waiting, more than waiting, to forgive.


Dear Lord, how many ways we can be a part of a closed, ingrowing,

enclosing enclave, all of which has the tendency, as of all the fallen,

to look, and dwell, remaining within, risking the non-think, “in-think”,

not allowing the critical mass of change to stimulate the

challenge that helps us all to grow tall, catch the light,

like trees rising up and stretching out towards the skyward air,

touching the sky, the sun, bathing in the warmth and relishing all that is reaching up

to the brightly beautiful starlight from the smallest, slowest seed.


And, as we rise at your command, oh Lord, we are stripped of all, of all that traps and ensnares and bedevils

the innocents who fell, deeply, deeper and deeper, into the darkness

that bites and grits and grips and from which no human hand can release, unbind, or deliver.


Speak your word, Lord, like you did to the thief, that today we will

be with you in Paradise knowing, as you do, what a terrible longing

is unloosed as our freedom reigns and races to the end of happiness:


to the possibility of a tearless place, healing, forgiving,

freeing, and leaving behind all that possessed us and singing, as only the song of love can sing, from a heart refreshed and fresh

from the Love that does not die but which, out of love for us, died and rose again

so that we, too, might mingle with the Lord and His family in heaven.

by Francis Etheredge, a Catholic married layman, father of 11, 3 of whom are in heaven,

and an author. Some of these verses are adapted from the author’s book,


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