¡Hay Dios Mio! In Spanish, this phrase translates as “Oh my God!” For many English-speakers, this phrase may be offensive. Many consider the phrase as using the Lord’s name in vain. However in many (not all) Latino cultures, the phrase is a prayer.
While I was growing up, when we received bad news, my mother would say “¡PRAY!” and she would start with “¡Hay Dios Mio!” help my brother or “¡Hay Dios Mio!” be with my uncle (of course, all this was in Spanish). When we traveled and she saw an accident, she would say, “¡Hay Dios Mio!” help the people in those vehicles. So I and my siblings and my cousins were raised beginning any prayerful moment with ¡Hay Dios Mio!
Well, the months of March and now April, have been filled with concern, caution, fear and prayer… ¡Hay Dios Mio! Just like many churches, congregational life for Vida E†erna has been suspended; no First Communion Classes, no Confirmation Classes, no Young Adult Ministry meetings, no Women’s Ministry presentations, no Homework Fellowship or Robotics programs, no Fellowship Meals and NO Worship as a community!
There is a part of our litany I wish to pray with you during this time of uncertainty… ¡Hay Dios Mio! Merciful Father, compassionate Son, consoling Spirit, Remember in mercy the sick and dying, The suffering and persecuted, The fearful and distraught, The bored and despairing. By your goodness grant relief to all in need and strengthen them to trust in you. (And I add… and may we soon gather once again as community to lift our hearts in praise of your grace and love.) Amen.
Deaconess Carmen Colón–Brown, West Chester, OH