As the anniversary of my father’s death approaches, and as several people I know have recently lost loved ones, I have been praying the Divine Office’s Office for the Dead (this link, courtesy of the Holy Souls Sodality, gives the full text: Office of Readings, Morning Prayer, Daytime Prayer, Evening Prayer, and Night Prayer).
As I pray these beautiful Psalms, scriptures, and petitions, I find myself surrounded by such a comfort and peace. They brim over with hope not only for our deceased loved ones, but for all of us. They remind me that I too shall die and stand before God, but they also remind me how very merciful and loving God is, how eternal and beatific the life He offers to us, and what unspeakable joy and rest the soul of the faithful shall find in His presence.
Here is one of my favorite passages from Evening Prayer:
My soul is waiting for the Lord,
I count on His word.
My soul is longing for the Lord
more than watchman for daybreak.
Let the watchman count on daybreak
and Israel on the Lord.
(Psalm 130 – De profundis)
How wonderful and refreshing it must be to finally have our waiting and longing satisfied… it’s hard to even imagine. But that time shall come for us all, sooner or later. Pretty amazing, isn’t it? A little frightening, sure. But as the Psalmist says, we can definitely count on the Lord, whom we revere for His mercy.