Have hope and strong faith in God:

God will help you with everything.

Pray to God.

Show humility under God’s great power,

because, without a doubt,

having entrusted you with such a task,

[whatever that task may be]

God will also give you the strength to carry it through,

provided that you will not fail to do your share.

Act, believe, do your best,

have hope, cry out to God with all your heart,

and, without a doubt,

you will see wonderful things,

as everything will turn to praise and glory of God’s Majesty

and to the good of all the souls.

St. Angela Merici – Introduction to the Counsels 15-18

16th Century

These precious words have inspired me ever since I was introduced to Angela Merici’s words when I first entered the Ursulines.
How can I go wrong? I have such powerful words to lead and guide me when, at the time, I felt I didn’t really know how to pray.

Many years have passed. I have met so many high school students and adults since then who desired to hear these words one sentence at a time or as a whole prayer. Each person wasdrawn to the hope and energy that lies within the message Angela wanted to convey. By this time in my life I truly have no doubt I “will see wonderful things” through hope and faith in God.

My life has taken many diverse paths as a teacher, a certified chaplain at Hillcrest Hospital and as a NACC and ACPE certified supervisor of Clinical Pastoral Education programs in Cleveland, OH and Springfield, Missouri. I trained men and women for positions as military chaplains, prison chaplains, hospital chaplains, social work chaplains, and hospice chaplains, etc. I had diverse groups of people of religious, faith, cultural, and ethnic backgrounds.Each one began to appreciate the words of Angela Merici and had some profound prayer experienceswith these words.

I continue to find Angela’s words vital within each path I follow. I offer this prayer to whomever is reading this reflection. I hope you read the words first in each sentence quietly one at a time, pondering the words for their strength. Then, read them as the whole prayer, and experience the surge of Angela’s energy to act, believe, have hope and firm faith in God, wherever you are today and wherever you find yourself on your life’s journey. Blessings on the way.

Sister Nancy Beckenhauer