Healing Grief

Q. I’m currently grieving the loss of a loved one. Do you have any recommendations for Catholic devotions or prayers that might help me heal?

A. Here’s a reply from Father Reginald Martin: 

The Mass should be our first resort in time of loss. Baptism unites us with Jesus’ death and resurrection, and the Eucharistic prayers reminds us that, as members of Christ’s body, we look forward not only to everlasting life with Jesus but with all our loved ones who have died. The third Eucharistic prayer, for example, asks, “To our departed brothers and sisters and to all who were pleasing to you at their passing from this life, give kind admittance to your kingdom. There we hope to enjoy forever the fullness of your glory.”

The Rosary, too, especially the Glorious Mysteries, is filled with promise for those who mourn the deaths of loved ones.

St. Joseph is the patron of a happy death because tradition says he died in the presence of Jesus and Mary; we might turn to him for consolation. Widows have several patrons, but one of the more interesting is St. Paula, who befriended St. Jerome, accompanied him to Bethlehem and underwrote a number of charitable enterprises there.

The Daily Roman Missal contains prayers to prepare us for our own death, but the resignation they ask for might easily equip us to deal with another’s death.