Pray: A four letter word so loaded that the sound of it makes you feel. Maybe that’s just me. I feel everything too much and too often. Lately, when I tell myself to pray, I become overwhelmed with all of the things I want to pray for; All the the things I should pray for. The list seems too great. There are too many bases to cover.

When someone asks me to pray for them, the good Christian inside of me says “Absolutely.” whole-heartedly. As silly as it sounds, I like to believe that a certain amount of vulnerability is required when asking someone who devoutly prays to pray for you. So why wouldn’t I? But then, I tell myself to take a small portion of my day to actually say these prayers, and I can’t.

Lately, I have been too lax in my faith. And when I pray, I don’t know where to begin. I have never felt so far away. My head tries to rank these pleas to God in order of importance and I can’t determine it. I’m at a loss for what’s right to ask for. Is it my place to even pray for these things?

The assumed absence of God is a slippery slope. Sure, he actually never leaves, but we are asked accept that He has a plan for us. Certain pains are meant to be felt. It will all make sense some day. But in this absent, floating anguish, I think to myself “What’s the point?” in praying for anything if God has already decided? And I allow myself to fall away. I’m faithful, but I am tired.

I have always told myself that God merely appreciates the sentiment. I could exist along like most Catholics, periodically attending Mass, believing whole-y in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, maybe attending Confession or even taking time out of my day to pray. Most people exist this way, and they make their way to heaven eventually too (However long the process takes) But if you really know the “rules” of Catholicism and you don’t obey them, doesn’t it make it worse? Yes. Knowingly sinning, as opposed to ignorantly doing so, is without question worse.

So here I am, knowing these things about myself. Falling into slumps of mediocre Catholicism, and I can’t stand myself. Instead, I remain stuck in this guilt ridden, self-loathing hole, unable to escape. And the worst part of all is that I am completely aware that it is happening.

I do not deserve answered prayers.


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