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December 15, 2022 — Spirit & Verse is a monthly column of original poem-prayers composed by Cameron Bellm, a Seattle-based writer and mother of two whose “Prayer for a Pandemic went viral, bringing solace and comfort to many struggling during COVID-19.

Every Family Is a Holy Family

Every family is a holy family, if you look closely enough,

Because every person bears the breath of God.

Isn’t that the wonder of the incarnation?

It’s Joseph who waits in a cold parking lot,

Hoping for a day’s work to feed his family.

It’s Mary who cradles a crying Jesus

Under the blue tarp of a refugee camp.

It’s Joseph, too, who changes your oil,

Mary who scrubs your toilet,

Jesus who plays hide and seek

In the crowded aisles of your laundromat.

Just as the holy family sought admittance to an inn,

So these holy families seek admittance to our hearts.

May we not only gather them in,

But may we accept their welcome, too.

And as we dine together, at their table, at ours,

May we know that the bread we break is sacrament,

The communion between us—something sacred.





Previous Spirit & Verse poem-prayers:

A Prayer for the Feast of Christ the King
A Prayer for the Season of Creation
A Prayer for the Feast of St. Alberto Hurtado
Ignatius and the Stars: A Prayer for the Close of the Ignatian Year
A Prayer for Gun Reform
A Prayer for the Visitation
A Prayer for Holding and Being Held by the Earth
A Prayer for Liminal Spaces
Answer the Knock: An Advent Prayer
Mary, Mother of Us All
A Prayer for World Day of Migrants and Refugees
A Prayer for Peace When the World is on Fire
A Prayer for the Ignatian Year
A Prayer for the Month of the Sacred Heart
A Prayer for Mary’s Month During a Pandemic
St. Joseph Prayer
A Prayer for Ash Wednesday
A Prayer for the Feast of the Epiphany
A Prayer for the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe
A Prayer for the Month of the Holy Souls
A Prayer for Living “Fratelli Tutti”
Our Lady of Sorrows
A Prayer for the Beginning of the School Year
A Prayer for the Feast of St. Ignatius

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Cameron Bellm is a Seattle-based writer of prayers, poems, and devotionals. After completing her Ph.D. in Russian literature at the University of California, Berkeley, she traded the academic life for the contemplative life, informed by Ignatian spirituality and Catholic social teaching. She is the author of “A Consoling Embrace: Prayers for a Time of Pandemic” (23rd Publications, 2020). Cameron and her husband have two young sons, and, blessedly, playing with Legos often nurtures her spiritual life as much as reading the lectionary. You can find her at and on Instagram, @cameronbellm.

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