Finding myself without a job leaves me with a lot of time on my hands. A lot of time on my hands leads me to consider God, and what God has done and is doing for me. And that leads to considering prayer.
I really, really, suck at prayer. Oh, and I’m supposed to teach Mr. Serrano how to pray. Every so often, I get into that state where I honestly feel like I’m in communion with God. For a split second, the entire world halts and I swear its like I finally find that inner peace. Then something distracts me.
If I’m honest with myself its probably doubt, and not just the fact that there’s a ooooo shiny bit of something on the ground. How the heck am I supposed to teach my beloved how to pray, when I’m so distracted?
I start doubting. What if that inner peace I felt was just a fleeting emotion? What if I’m basing my beliefs on a bunch of warm, fuzzy feelings, and falling into that trap of “going where I’m comfortable”? I have a lot of friends who believe that a choice in religion (and God) all has to do with what’s comfortable. I don’t want comfortable- comfortable is what a blue-gill feels right before it bites the hook, and ends up scaled, chopped, and fried. Comfortable is what the little fish who made up my chirashi–don in Tsukiji taste so wonderfully raw and delicious. Comfortable is what made that mojarra frita so succulent in garlic. I want the Truth. At the moment, I’m also craving some fish. But mostly Truth.
However, does that mean Truth has to hurt, or always be uncomfortable? I don’t want to make Truth into the image I like, or am comfortable with. That would be like pretending that Mr. Serrano is Eduardo Verástegui– Sure, Eduardo is very hot, very Catholic, and very pro-life, but Mr. Serrano is Mr. Serrano, and no one else. If I pretended that he were Eduardo, it would be incredibly disrespectful as well as very sad.
So, besides the doubt I get about how well I’m praying (or even IF I’m praying) I’ve also got an issue with what to pray about.
Do I pray for my own soul, which is in danger? Is that selfish?What about Mr. Serrano’s soul? Do I offer up suffering for both him and I?
There are so many things to pray about, besides the millions of little things that come up-
- Priests, religious- they need our help, right?
- People in purgatory, people I know that are dead.
- Neighbors, people I see on the streets.
- The people who have been hit by tornados.
- The Christians suffering in Muslim parts of the world.
- The future of Christians now (we are heading down a very dark path)
- The Pope
- The Japanese victims of earthquakes
- My own host family
- The pro-life movement and the people in the abortion clinics
- Atheists, agnostics, those who are weak in faith (but aren’t I just as weak?)
- Gay “marriage” and homosexual activism
- etc etc etc etc etc etc
And after considering all of that, I start to doubt even more. Aren’t all these prayers petitions? Can’t I come up with one thing to be genuinely thankful for? Must I worry for everyone, including myself?
I realize that a lot of this doubt is coming from my own faults, and the usual idiot-jerk-fat cow-pendejo– aka the Devil is having a great time using them to make more doubts.
There’s something I’m supposed to be learning here, so I intend to do it. Hopefully I can find a good spiritual director. I have many good Christian friends, my Maid of Honor one of the greatest, but I need someone Catholic as well. There are some things that just require a priest, and this might be one of them.
One good thing- Mr. Serrano is going to get an apartment. HURRAY! And, we’ve bought the engagement ring! So there are two very awesome things.