church.

11 Apr

I find myself at church a few times a year. ALL of my family is Catholic (to varying degrees) so trips home often entail Saturday evening mass. I’ve been baptized, had my first communion and reconciliation. I’ve been confirmed (holler Joan of Arc).

Ok- all of that’s boring. What I’m trying to say is that, I grew up Catholic, attending weekly one-hour masses and going to CCD (Sunday school). What I realized this past Saturday, during a 3 hour (!) Easter Vigil, is that I have no clue how to pray.

 

Here’s how my ritual goes:

  1. Once I have successfully found my place in the wooden pew, surrounded by people too close for comfort – I pull out the little stool and kneel.
  2. I look around at people, who bury their faces in their palms and wonder what they are praying about. Do they address God in their prayer? Who/What do they pray for? Do they pray for same thing every week? If not, how do they remember what they’ve committed to pray for throughout the week?
  3. I fold my hands.
  4. I get side-tracked by my cuticles and finger-nails.
  5. I start picking at them.
  6. Then I say (names will be abbreviated using the first letter of the name), “Dear God, I would like to pray for my Mom, Dad, C., M., Jeb (dog), Chloe (other dog), Junior (bird).”
  7. Then I feel bad for not praying for people outside my immediate family, and feel that if something bad happens to them, it will be my fault for not praying for them. So, “I would also like to pray for N., D., T., L., V., J., D., R., G., P., J., D., E., W., K., L., M., T., L., B., M., R., T., S.”
  8. Then I notice the pile of discarded finger-nail clippings that have accumulated in the pew in front of me. Gross.
  9. All the while, I’m not even sure what “praying for” means… so that gets me mad.
  10. Then come the friends, “L., E., T., J., S., T., J., M., K., R., K., M., H., T., N., B., S., S.”
  11. I realize this is taking a lot of time/energy to remember all these people, and I’m not even sure what the point is.
  12. More family, I had forgot about earlier: “M., S., J., B., R., D., B., P., M., M., K., M., D., S.”
  13. I get distracted by the pain-in-the-ass kid sitting in front of me who is putting her arm up her Mom’s shirt sleeve and snapping her bra.
  14. I pray for myself… that I get through school alright and pass all my exams.
  15. Then I hope I haven’t jinxed myself for praying for it. Then I think that God knows this is important to me, so he’s just going to make it so that I fail so that I learn my lesson and worship him more.                                                                        
  16. Then I get pissed. Really pissed. “Ain’t no one have control over my grades but me, God. Just lay off.”
  17. Then I give up, and heatedly slump back to a seated position in the pew. I spend the rest of the mass mad that I’m even there.
  18. But, I make sure God knows I was for real when I prayed for people, just in case.

Obviously, I have greater problems than just not being able to pray. But, I refuse to believe that I am the only person who finds herself in this situation at church. I would like to learn how to pray… not just for churching, but for meditation, or for addressing that larger idea I know is out there (God? Spirit? Force?). Thanks for reading this… I’m sure it was difficult.

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4 Responses to “church.”

  1. merritt April 11, 2007 at 7:21 pm #

    i am all about reclaiming me some 7th grade paganism. give up that man shit and lets be topless in the moonlight.

    and smear our menses on pla

  2. merritt April 11, 2007 at 7:21 pm #

    nt life

  3. emm April 13, 2007 at 3:44 pm #

    that was awesome tay. the few times i end up in church have me running through less then that. some times chruch is not where you find spirituality. and i’m coo’ with that!

  4. nicotineandmint April 17, 2007 at 2:13 am #

    um…this is pretty much your best entry ever. damn i gotta catch up and get soem good shit on my blog!

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