Melody for a Prayer

[Listen to Asha read this story]

(Told by an Ananda devotee)

I had suffered a severe disappointment and was living under a cloud of sadness I couldn’t seem to shake. I found comfort in the words of St. Teresa of Avila: “Let nothing disturb you, nothing afright you. All things will pass, but God changes not.”

Teresa is a popular saint at Ananda, and several people had set those words of hers to music. But the melodies expressed the sadness of life, not the underlying joy.

I was talking to Swamiji about my disappointment and my love for Teresa’s prayer. “I want to chant it as well as say it,” I said. “But the melodies we have are depressing.”

“Would you write down the words?” he said. I was touched by his concern for my little desire.

We were sitting in his living room and his coffee table was covered with papers and correspondence awaiting his attention. I wrote down the words, but as I added my piece of paper to that heap I thought, “It will be a long time before he gets to this.”

Imagine my surprise and gratitude the next morning when Swamiji called at 8 a.m. It was my birthday, and he said, “I have something for you.” Then, over the phone, he sang St. Teresa’s prayer with the lilting, joyful, perfect new melody he had written.

Singing that prayer, and feeling Swamiji’s love behind it, helped turn the tide. The cloud of sadness soon melted away.

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