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  • Deacon Dan Wright serves the Diocese of Austin, Texas. His work outside the parish is as a special education teacher serving students with significant cognitive disabilities.



  • Family activities, spirituality, liturgy, Christian apologetics, social justice topics, special education issues, and promoting the peace and unity of the human family.
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« Reflection on the Evening Prayer | Main | Being Present »

November 18, 2007



I know I used to pray as a child before bed, but also when staying with my grandmother-- my cousin and I would kneel beside her rocker in the kitchen in the morning sun coming through and around the bottles of colored water, so Mere Mere could "hear" our prayers and Morning Offertory..she sat there with her eyes closed, and hands folded in prayer, and truly "heard" them. :-) But I don't recall praying for anything for anyone in particular-- tho' I must have.

I do recall, tho', as if it were yesterday, one night when I was 15 or so. As I laid there trying to sleep, I felt an inexplicable urge to turn over and seek what was attracting my attention. It faded out to darkness just as I was looking at it, but in my bureau mirror, there was a soft, golden, beautiful altar--almost breathing, and lit by something other than candlelight, tho' it was warm like that. How intricate and beautiful it was, and you've reminded me of it..thank you.

"It's really no wonder that sleep is such a strong metaphor for death, for in it we let go and place our trust in God." You've just described "dormition," haven't you? I love it. Thanks for that thought, too.

God bless you.


With all due respect, I believe you failed to remark on the vast importance of the Examination of Conscience at night time.

Deacon DW

ebh-Indeed examination of the conscience is an important part of the Compline hour. At this time, especially in communal celebration, one of the liturgical penitential acts is appropriate, for example the formula I confess to Almighty God and to you my brothers and sisters... will do nicely here.

I believe that when we "turn things over to the Lord entirely", as I stated above, it includes a good examination of conscience. When we "let go and place our trust in God" we give him our all--our successes and our failures, and we simply trust and we relish the peace that can come only in a childlike faith that our Lord watches over us.


Ah, I forgot we were talking about formal prayer of the Church. Heck, if I start examen-ing my conscience at night, I'll never get any sleep! I timed it once: I sin every 3 minutes. Or so. Who wants to hear a litany of my sins? I know whose culpa it is, and how it happened, and why it must be avoided..but I also know the Remedy Who very truly wants to be my Remedy. I want that, too. I will look with boht hope and trust toward that.

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