All That I Have Written Is Straw. . .

Meanderings of a Catholic Devout

Ceremony and Prayer

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I missed a Mass yesterday.  I was traveling and I knew I would miss the early ones, so I had intended to make a 5 o’clock Mass.  But having been up since 3 am, I ended up napping through.  I felt awful.  There isn’t a good excuse.  It was the solemnity of corpus Christi.   I can already feel the effects of my absence.  Something just seems amiss.

I was listening to a conversation on the subject of prayer.  Catholics aren’t a very spontaneous bunch–we tend to shy around unorganized, unprepared prayer.  I’m not sure why.  It’s almost like it seems too personal.  We are used to ceremony.  But what if you had to listen to the same words over and over again every day?  Seems very boring to me.  When I was becoming Christian, a friend of mine took me to a Baptist church.  The fellowship was amazing and I kept attending Baptist services for several months, perhaps over a year.  I admired how they would just bow their heads and said aloud whatever came to their mind and whatever was in their hearts.  I quit attending Baptist services because I felt a strong absence of the Eucharist, though I didn’t realize that was what I longed for at the time.  I also longed for absolution.  And it wasn’t for a few more years that I could read the Nicene Creed and admit that I wholeheartedly believed in every word of it.  I still remember the relief, for lack of a better word, or maybe joy is better, that I felt when I was reading the text of the Creed and it dawned on me that I was professing (yes, indeed!) my faith.

I often refer to praying the Rosary.  I say a decade of it every day and pray it in entirety on Sundays.  And yes, sometimes it does feel like I’m just being ceremonious in my recitations, but I don’t neglect to say prayers before and after that reflect my own words from my own heart.  And since I believe that God understands our intentions, anything I forget to mention isn’t without consideration.   Blessed are the clean of heart, for they shall see God.

Yet, there is comfort in the ceremony.  There is a bit of a charm to reciting a prayer that has been uttered by billions over hundreds, sometimes thousands, of years, even if not in English. It kind of connects us to our ancestors.

As for life, I’m back to working on trusting in God.  I haven’t felt particularly successful as of late in many aspects of my life.  I haven’t felt special in a while.  Perhaps because I haven’t been listening to Him.

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Written by Written Straw

June 7, 2010 at 5:48 pm

Posted in Catholic, Faith, Life

Tagged with , ,

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