Every morning for many years, Flannery O’Connor prayed this “Prayer to St. Raphael, Angel of Happy Meetings”:
O Raphael, lead us toward those we are waiting for, those who are waiting for us: Raphael, Angel of happy meetings, lead us by the hand toward those we are looking for. May all our movements be guided by your Light and transfigured with your joy.
Angel, guide of Tobias, lay the request we now address to you at the feet of Him on whole unveiled Face you are privileged to gaze. Lonely and tired, crushed by the separations and sorrows of life, we feel the need of calling you and of pleading for the protection of your wings, so that we may not be as strangers in the province of joy, all ignorant of the concerns of our country. Remember the weak, you who are strong, you whose home lies beyond the region of thunder, in a land that is always peaceful, always serene and bright with the resplendent glory of God.
As a Protestant, I don’t go in for the invoking of saints. Nevertheless, I love this prayer with its vision of life as a journey toward our true country, “the province of joy”–a journey full of happy meetings.
What a beautiful prayer – “you whose home lies beyond the region of thunder.”
That part reminded me of a favorite quote from J.R.R. Tolkien: “In sorrow we must go, but not in despair. Behold! we are not bound for
ever to the circles of the world, and beyond them is more than memory. “
Haha! I didn’t think I was the only one who held that as a favorite from those books! I’m glad to see you bring it in here.