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SpiritualDirection.com / Catholic Spiritual Direction

Introducing Donna Sue Berry: St Monica, Please Pray for Me

August 27, 2013 by  
Filed under Donna Sue Berry, Liz Estler, Poetry

Dear CSD Family,

On this Memorial of St. Monica, we are blessed to introduce Donna Sue Berry, Catholic poet and author, who has started publishing her poems on-line, is working on the book “Catholic Poems from the Heart of a Red Dirt Oklahoma Girl,” and has recently had her full story featured in the on-line “Regina Magazine.” Donna Sue grew up Catholic and, as a child, even thought she might want to join the convent (she has the pictures to prove it). She began writing romantic poems in junior high school…and, well, she never became a Sister or a Nun…but God had more plans for her. After some difficult times in her life, she began writing again. This time her poetry flows from being in love with Christ. Her poems are straightforward and direct and give voice, not just to the heart of a “red dirt Oklahoma girl,” but also to her great love for the Catholic faith. So, without further ado, today we feature something she has written especially for us. Please welcome Donna to our site by giving her some feedback in the combox. And, if she has moved your heart, please be sure to say so.

 

SAINT MONICA, PLEASE PRAY FOR ME

My tears were falling once again
As I bowed my head to pray.
It wasn’t for the first time that
I ran to church today.

In the coolness of the chapel,
I sank down to my knees,
Where pain and disappointment seemed
To all but smother me.

 

My husband and my son were lost,
My life was torn apart.
I fell before the Lord my God,
And prayed with all my heart.

I looked up to see some relics,
On the wall just left of me.
When one caught my attention,
I moved closer, then, to see.

for post on St Monica, Please pray for meIt was Monica of Hippo,
Wife, mother, and so saintly.
I knew her name, but not much else;
Her story only faintly.

Her husband and her son had been
Scoundrels at their best.
Her constant prayer and fasting,
Had given her no rest.

But in the end, God triumphed,
Her ceaseless prayers were heard,
Such miraculous conversions,
The two of them incurred.

 

Augustine soon became a saint,
Her husband too was saved.
With trust in God I knelt back down,
And promised not to cave.

Saint Monica, please hear my prayer,
My family’s gone astray,
You once said “Nothing’s far from God.”
And so I ask you pray.

Please help their souls, and bring me peace,
Pray heaven be their end.
And as for me, I will prevail,
To be your closest friend.

With that all prayed, I left the church,
My faith in God renewed.
My heart and soul much lighter with
The grace of God imbued.

 

Donna Sue Berry
August 6, 2013
Written for the Memorial of Saint Monica, August 27

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Art for poetry post on St Monica, Please Pray for Me: Donna Sue Berry photograph used with permission. Holy Family Chapel Nebraska, photographed by Pgnielsen79, 28 April 2010, PD-Worldwide; Saint Augustine And Saint Monica, Ary Scheffer, 1846, PD-US author's life plus 100 years or less; both Wikimedia Commons.

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About Liz Estler

Editor, SpiritualDirection.com. Liz holds a Master of Arts in Ministry Degree (St. John's Seminary, Brighton, Massachusetts), Liturgy Certificate (Boston Archdiocese), and a BS degree in Biology and Spanish (Nebraska Wesleyan University - Lincoln). She has served as hospital chaplain associate, sacristan, translator and in other parish ministries. She was a regular columnist for a military newspaper in Europe and has been published in a professional journal. She once waded in the Trevi Fountain!

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  • MikeandKathy McLaughlin

    Wow…amazing how the story wove itself around my heart in its poetic form! Please do have Donna share more of her poems!

    • Mike and Kathy, Thank you so much for your kind words! Isn’t Saint Monica an amazing intercessor! So glad you enjoyed the story poem and that it touched your heart! Donna Sue

  • Lynette Graham

    Beautiful pray, about this Ethiopian women, St Monica pray for us

  • Shona Terrell

    So very moving. Thank you

  • Hurricane

    Hi Donna,
    Your poetry is simple and beautiful, yet bold and meaningful. Just like our awesome Catholic faith! When I read this, I also see and feel many of the same thoughts and feelings. Keep praying AND writing. God bless you sister.

    • Hi, Hurricane!
      Thank you for your sweet words, that mean’s a lot to me that you ‘felt’ the words. How many times have we all run to the foot of the altar with our burdens only to have Jesus lessen our pain?! Thank you again, and I will!! May God Bless you too!

  • Denise

    Donna, your words have touched my heart in a powerful way! My first son and the father of my children were both atheists, and by the grace of God and through the intercession of St. Monica and St. Augustine my son would find his way home to the Catholic faith (and brought his wife too!) Praise God! May He continue to bless you in your ministry!

    • LizEst

      Wonderful testimony. Thanks, Denise.

    • Dear Denise, I am humbled. Thank you for sharing, and I’m so glad that the words of my poem touched you. It is hard when those we love are away from the Lord, and it is so scary to us Mom’s for sure to think that a child might be lost to heaven. With what happieness to see them return to the Sacraments! I share your joy! May God continue to bless your family!

  • DianeVa

    Welcome Donna! Another inspiring writer and spiritual sister added to all those who contribute to this wonderful website. Who needs a single spiritual director when we have a “family” walking together in the same direction, toward holiness. May God bless you all

    • DianeVa,
      Thank you! It is a blessing to be among all these amazing writers whose insight has inspired me in my own walk! Very humbling. Amazing web site! May God Bless you, too!

  • Mary G

    Nice, moving and inspiring!….and I relate!
    I prayed this poem today!

    • Thank you Mgwps63! It touches me that you prayed the poem. May God bless you, and thank you, your words mean a lot.

  • Laura M

    Loved your poem Donna! It is a good reminder to pray more intensely for my son, his wife & my granddaughter (they’re Jehovah Witnesses). Looking forward to reading more of your work. God continue to bless you 🙂

    • Laura, thank you! So glad you enjoyed the poem, and we do don’t we? So many family members that need our prayers…oh and those Grand babies… I’ll say a Hail Mary for yours, too!! Thanks Laura!

  • Dan, thank you for including new writers on this blog to encourage and inspire us.

    Donna, welcome. I look forward to reading more of your inspirational writing.

  • Jane Foster Sokolik

    Donna, your poem was beautiful and inspiring! I will pray to her for my son’s return to the faith. Your poems are all so awe-inspiring, am so proud of you, my beautiful niece! I can hardly wait until your book is published! Love you, and congratulations on your success, and your God given talent that we all get to enjoy and be inspired by. AJ

    • Awwww, thanks, AJ! Love you too. Your support and input have meant a lot! Continued prayers for all. Enjoy looking at and reading Roman Catholic Spiritual Direction!

  • Michelle Stephan

    Thank you for sharing what comes from your heart!
    A grateful Mother!

    • You’re welcome! Family…our greatest joys and sometimes our biggest worries, right? Love the Communion of Saints!

  • JudyK

    Thank you so for putting into words what I have been praying. God has told us to pray unceasingly. Recently I learned that my ex-husband has gone to confession for the first time in 50 years.

    • LizEst

      Wow! Thanks for sharing JudyK.

      • JudyK

        I am still “working on” my alcoholic son. Please say a “Hail Mary” for Steve. Thanks ever so much!

        • LizEst

          Certainly, Judy…I’ve prayed!

    • Judy, Praise God! I join in your joy! You are so right, and it is sometimes not so easy to pray for certain people, but thank God for your perseverance.

    • JudyK, you are welcome. What a blessing. I can totally feel what you are saying. Mine wasn’t after 50 years, but 15 when I got the news he had returned. Bless you!! Hail Mary prayed for you, what perseverance!

  • Joan

    Thank you Donna !! That poem is me, praying every day for my son & other loved ones who seem to have turned their backs on our Lord Jesus and our Catholic faith. It so saddens me, but I keep praying daily, and am encouraged by the example of St. Monica, so I keep Hope in my heart.

    • Oh Joan, so very glad the poem was special to you! Just prayed a Hail Mary for you! Pray, trust and try not to worry was what my Mom always said!

  • Lisa

    Thank you for this poem. I have been praying for St. Monica/s intersession for years now. For my husband’s alcoholism and for my 21 year old daughter who is living a sinful life. St. Monica gives me hope. St. Monica, pray for us.

    • You’re welcome, Lisa! May God bless you for your persistance in prayer. I know there must be days you just want to curl up against the heart of Jesus when it is hard to pray. Hail Mary said for you and yours!

  • fran

    Thank you for this poem. Today my husband and I are married forty years, He is still an atheist and even though I have brought our five children up in the Catholic Faith, they are one by one falling away…I will start praying to St. Monica for hope.

  • Terese10

    I just stumbled across this poem-I know it is very late to post. But I just wanted to say how beautiful the poem is and that it really hit home for me. I have been praying so much for my husband and son–praise God my husband returned to the church! But I am still praying for my son who is so very lost. The poem along with the beautiful photo reminded me not to give up even though some days it can be very tempting.

    • LizEst

      Terese10–It is never too late to post here. Yes, keep praying. I have prayed for your intentions. God bless you!

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