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Paul Selmer’s Prayer

Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee, blessed is thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus—Paul continued to repeat the Angel’s Greeting under his breath.—By thy holy childhood, deliver us, Lord.—Help me to overcome my fear of Thee—for it is fear of Thee which has held me back. Teach me to believe in Thee, not in order to gain this or that, but to learn to know Thee. By Thy holy childhood—one cannot be afraid to open the door to a child, one must rather be afraid of injuring it.—And let me not find peace until I have become reconciled with that peace which Thou callest thine, of which Thou hast said that the world can neither give it nor take it away—

As he got up to go he discovered where the people got their candles—a woman sat in a corner selling them. He had a sudden idea—he too would light a candle before this image of Mary with the Child.

He went across and bought one of the biggest. He was not very clear as to the meaning of this symbol of lighting a candle, but when he came back to the chapel and planted his among the others he meant it vaguely as a manifestation of his prayer—let me not be allowed myself to extinguish the spark that has again begun to glow within me.

—from The Wild Orchid by Sigrid Undset, Book 2: Ch. 5



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