O Lord, Deliver Us

“One does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God”  

Matthew  4:4

What if you never heard the word that comes forth from the mouth of God, or never bothered to seek it out?

We received a distraught call from my husband’s sister on the First Sunday of Lent, with the news our nephew had been killed in a traffic accident in Kansas on his way home to Minnesota.  Tears. And prayers for the mercy of God.

Is God’s mercy retroactive?  He is all-knowing; if I am praying for mercy now, would God, who has the foreknowledge of this prayer, have given David mercy at the time of death because of it. 

In bygone years, we Catholics had cards that said,  “In case of accident, please call a priest,”  although 911 is now preferred and you can’t easily navigate a parish phone system to reach a priest. We also prayed the Litany of Saints (the full Litany, not today’s abbreviated version which leaves out the “O Lord, deliver us”  and “We beseech Thee, hear us” parts). The old Litany included asking for deliverance from tempests and earthquakes, from plagues (coronavirus?), famine and war,  and “From sudden and unprovided death.” We dutifully answered, “O Lord, deliver us.” 

“From a sudden and unprovided death, deliver us, O Lord.”

Unprovided death…
that sudden heart attack…
the pulmonary embolism…
the crash of vehicles on the freeway. 

David was basically unchurched. He wasn’t baptized as a Catholic until age 14 or 15 and only because the mom talked the priest into baptizing her last two “forgotten” kids at the baptism of the new infant granddaughter. No catechesis. I don’t know if that was the only time David went to church, except for weddings or funerals. The parents had split years earlier, kids parceled out between the parents and this one sent to live out of state for a few years with grandma who may or may not have attended the local Baptist church because when you are in business in Tennessee, you go to the local church where everyone can see you. Upon return, David had a hard time finding a place in his family, a place in this life. He never married. 

I hope he sought God in the desert of his life. It just wasn’t something he talked about when he came to visit, but he was in our prayers these several years. I sincerely hope he has finally found peace. 

Saint Joseph, pray for us!

This article, O Lord, Deliver Us is a post from The Bellarmine Forum.
Do not repost the entire article without written permission. Reasonable excerpts may be reposted so long as it is linked to this page.

Cindy Paslawski

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