Hooop Prayer

palm-treeMany months ago, I was asked to provide a chaplain visit for a woman in the emergency department who, I was told, could possibly miscarry her unborn child. When I entered this woman’s room, she appeared calm. She told me about her family and her hopes, all the while rubbing the abode where her unborn child grew. We talked about her dreams for her baby as she had a strong belief that her baby was going to be alright. I asked her about this belief and she told me that she was praying the Ho’oponopono Prayer. She explained that there are four steps to this prayer: I’m sorry; please forgive me; thank you; and end with, I love you.

As we talked together, this “mom-to-be” shared with me that this prayer is a Hawai’ian meditation. She told the story of a psychiatrist who was asked to take charge of a failing state psychiatric hospital. It seems that patients in this hospital had become noncompliant with their meds and disrespectful of staff, and were mirroring the attitude of the staff. The staff had an “I don’t care” attitude, disrespected the patients and other staff, and let the place fall into shambles.

The doctor stepped into this knowing that if he could not turn it around, the hospital would close. So each day, he walked into the hospital and greeted staff. He would then stand at a nursing station, open a chart and pray the Ho’oponopono Prayer. He would do this with each chart he opened for the day. He would do the same for each staff person he met. This doctor, I was told, never saw a patient. In time, the staff took interest in the patients, each other and their work environment. The patients began to take care of themselves and took interest in each other. Patients even helped to keep the hospital clean. And, the hospital closed. There wasn’t a need for the hospital!

So the story went.

And the woman who shared this prayer with me walked out of the emergency department with her baby still growing in his abode.

I have shared this prayer with other patients, mostly moms-to-be who are in danger of losing their baby. Those with whom I have shared it find it comforting and healing.

I have prayed this prayer when I think of someone with whom I may have a difficult relationship. It can be hard to pray. It brings healing.

– Blog entry by Sister Terry Maher

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