St. Anthony Prayer for Grace when life becomes quite noisy

Prayer for Help from the Holy Spirit

O God, send forth your Holy Spirit into my heart that I may perceive,

into my mind that I may remember,


and into my soul that I may meditate. Inspire me to speak with piety, holiness,

tenderness and mercy.

Teach, guide and

direct my thoughts and senses from beginning to end.

May your grace ever help and correct me,

and may I be strengthened now with wisdom from on high, for the sake of your infinite mercy.     Amen.

~Saint Anthony of Padua

Isn’t that a lovely prayer? I found it just now while looking for another that a friend has been using to pray for me. I sent a text to her last week saying something to the effect of:

“having 87a*^& difficult time transition men all back to school. no sleep. bloody internet down again. pray asap plz.”

Her reply was something to the effect of:

“On our way to family conference. Issuing Deliverance Prayer immediately and will continue to take all to Jesus.”

This particular best friend of mine was raised by a huge Irish Catholic family on the capes in New Jersey, and continues to worship in a similar traditional Irish fashion.

Selfishly, this reality has many benefits for me.

My mom was also raised in a large Irish Catholic family, but in the Bronx. This makes my brother and I fourth generation straight off the boats of County Cork – I did the research and it’s true! I even found immigration papers. Every single one of our great-grandparents  came from County Cork,  (“counties” in Ireland are like “states” here in the U.S.) by way of a village named Mill Street.

The friend that I sent a text plea to continues to help describe to me how my mother was raised. By way of these memorized prayers and traditional Catholic rituals I can know much about corners of my family world that my mother, by necessity, had to set clear boundaries against when leaving the east coast to join my father.

My friend and I met while doing graduate work toward a degree in Pastoral Ministry at the University Dayton and it was one of those best friends in five minutes type of gifts that one gets only a few times in a life time. By hook or crook we’ve maintained this friendship for well over twenty years now, if not in conversation and visits, by way of prayer amidst our busy and increasingly complicated lives as moms and spouses.


Since I rarely ask for help like in that text, particularly for specific prayer, she knew, I’m guessing, that I really meant that I was too pooped to pray.

Asking this gal pal to take a knee is a bit like asking that fellow Bolt to run to the store for milk – it happens fast, furious and with more focus than my hard wire would ever hope to achieve without distraction.

And, it worked.

The clogs of stress about the first week of school for my men seem to be starting to give way for now.

And, oddly enough, last night I switched a plug and suddenly the computer and internet are working, saving us anywhere from a range of $100 to $800 to keep me on the grid.

This is good.

Grand as a matter of fact.

How do you like the photo of my low alto voice being formed in utero while my brother listens to, I’d say, Ella Fitzgerald or The Weavers?