The year was 1993. Bill had been my spiritual director since 1985. He was Fr. William Shannon, retired theology professor and Merton scholar…but soon after our monthly meetings began, he was urging me (as he did all his friends) to call him Bill.
On his retirement from teaching, Bill had become chaplain of the Sisters of St. Joseph in our hometown, and he lived at their Motherhouse. In response to my question, he suggested, “Why not do what we’re doing here—paying special attention to the insertion in the Lord’s Prayer.”
It was the insertion at Mass that he was referring to, where the priest adds after “Deliver us from evil”:
Deliver us, Lord from every evil
And grant us peace in our day.
In your mercy, keep us free from sin,
And protect us from all anxiety,
As we wait in joyful hope
For the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
At daily Mass at the Motherhouse during Advent, all the Sisters were saying these lines along with Bill as presider. My husband and I don’t go to daily Mass, but for Advent that year—and for many years thereafter—we said these lines at the start of our meals together.