I have sometimes wondered what happens to all our unanswered prayers. Are they blown about by the wind, like the gently erased print of the prayer flags of Lhasa? Do they pile up in dusty store rooms in some labyrinthine, angelic bureaucracy? So many prayers, brittle, stretching back to the dawn of man, from the lips of all living souls. Perhaps there are so many that all but a few of them are marked for approval and delivery to the Throne of Grace. When the prayers are too many, are there angelic functionaries tasked to evaluate, sort, file and dispose of them, to cast them from high places? Do they then drift forever, glinting in the high altitude sun far from the face of God and sight of men? or do they flutter to earth, becoming entangled in thorn trees and powerlines, lying rain-smudged in asphalt parking lots? Are we perhaps surrounded by the powdered remnants of countless discarded prayers, torn, faded, decomposed, infusing everything, prayer dust? Then the whole world, anima mundi, anima christi, would be a prayer, a supplication.

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