Light in the Darkness

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light,
 those who dwelt in the land of deep darkness,
on them has light shined.

Light is often a sign of hope. In times of distress, persecution, and famine, people of faith have looked to the light as a reminder that God is with them in the struggle. During your struggle you may feel the darkness all around you -- alone, closed in, forgotten, disoriented in the darkness. Such abandonment can lead to feelings of anger, fear and despair that can seem like endless darkness.

Try lighting a candle as a sign of God's presence with you.

Light is often a sign of hope. In times of distress, this is a simple spiritual exercise. As you light your candle you might pray something like, "Oh God, let this flame kindle in me the assurance of your presence, let it warm my soul so that I might find courage, strength and hope in each hour that you walk with me. Fill me with your light and guide _______ (your loved one's name) to that light eternal. Amen." Leave the candle burning in a safe place that you will see throughout the day and night. Each time you see the light, be aware that God's presence is in this place. The flame will serve as a reminder that you are not alone in the darkness. (When placing the candle, be sure it meets the safety requirements of any medical equipment.)

Other symbols to place around the house or near your loved one's bedside might include: religious pictures/icons/statues, rosary, shawl, prayer rugs, holy water, anointing oil, Bible/Torah/Koran.  You may choose to gather symbols from around the house into a worship space for yourself or bring them into the room with your loved one. These symbols will also help you remember that God is with you.