Thomas Cypher ’87

Over the past several years, I have faced multiple major life storms: the separate and unexpected deaths of two young nephews, my mother battling and dying from cancer, health issues in two of my children, a significant health problem with my brother, and a stage 4 cancer diagnosis in one of my best friends. These crises hit me in rapid succession. Before I could finish dealing with one tragedy, the waves of another storm were breaking over my boat.

But prayer and faith prevail. In the midst of the storm, prayer is my lighthouse and faith is my anchor.

Like a lighthouse, prayer gives me direction. Prayer helps me to direct my thoughts and energy toward Jesus, the one who has power over the storm. Prayer blocks out the wind and the noise, which are the voices of fear and doubt. Prayer helps me focus on the Lord’s promises instead of the problems. Prayer restores my peace. The Bible recommends that we “pray without ceasing,” and so I remain in an attitude of prayer throughout the day. When I am not concentrating on work or family, my mind and soul focus on uniting myself to Christ and our Blessed Mother by continually thanking them for their divine assistance and intercession.

Like an anchor, faith prevents my thoughts from drifting off course and my words from going in the wrong direction. The disciples speak worry, anxiety, negativity, and hopelessness. Jesus speaks faith. When the storm is raging, my thoughts and words are critical to my spiritual strength and the strength of those suffering with me. Faith-based thoughts and words have the power to positively affect any situation. Therefore, speaking my faith anchors my soul and develops a spiritual confidence that conquers fear and doubt.

I used to believe that peace was the absence of suffering. I now understand that peace is serenity while enduring the suffering. I know that serenity can be obtained through prayer and faith. With these two spiritual allies, I can be in the storm without the storm being in me.