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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Prayer in Spiritual Darkness

I am constantly reminded that we don't pray because God needs us to do so...but because WE need that communication from Him that comes only from entering into Him through His Word.

God knows what we need before we need it, and speaks, often quite clearly, through the psalms as we pray them in the Liturgy of the Hours.

Yesterday's psalms were particularly striking as I fought my spiritual battle (and lost, brutally), and today....ah, today. Today, the Feast of the Archangels, reminding us that our primary battles aren't of this world, but are against the powers and principalities that seek to steal us away from Our Lord.

Yesterday, during Daytime Prayer, I prayed, from Psalm 40:

"For I am beset with evils
too many to be counted.
My sins have fallen upon me
and my sight fails me.
They are more than the hairs of my head
and my heart sinks.

O Lord, come to my rescue,
Lord, come to my aid."

Every prayer yesterday spoke to me, even the Antiphons: "I am poor, but the Lord takes care of me." Even if I wasn't believing that in the moment, I had to obey the text, and pray the words, making that act of trust I didn't "feel". Those very words were an echo of a prayer I offer nearly every day, the prayer of Queen Esther: "Help me Lord for I am all alone, and I have no one but Thee."

Someone, somewhere else in the world, prayed those very same words from the Liturgy of the Hours with a heart and soul overflowing with trust...enough to make up for what I lack. It's one of the things I love about the Liturgy of the Hours; it is the Church at prayer and none united in that prayer, even if only dryly mouthing words, is left behind. All, even those who refuse to pray, are carried along through the pure force of God's own love being returned to Him in a never-ending cycle.

Today, I struggle to take heart, as we celebrate one of my favorite Feasts. My battle isn't over, but the psalms and readings today point to the final victory; if there is nothing in my own life to give me hope, there is still hope to be found in knowing what is to come. I don't seek God's will each day, each moment to please myself, but rather, to please Him, even when I don't understand. I am blinded, and know that right now, it does not please God to give me sight. It's never easy to trust, and I know that this is exactly what He is asking me to do.

So I pray to the Holy Angels, asking for their protection as I continue to wander in this desert that is my life, knowing there must be a reason, and there are probably spiritual battles taking place around me which perhaps it is better that I don't see.

Comments continue to be closed. I don' t have the energy to deal with them and don't expect to any time soon. Vocational discernment is Hell and life in general isn't much better right now. *