"Are we prepared to promote conditions in which the living contact with God can be reestablished? For our lives today have become godless to the point of complete vacuity. God is no longer with us in the conscious sense of the word. He is denied, ignored, excluded from every claim to have a part in our daily life." - Alfred Delp, S.J.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Prayer shaming - never thought of it that way.



Shortly after the San Bernardino shootings, MSM and social media lit up with hit pieces upon those who say, "Our thoughts and prayers are with you."  Calling out such responses as cliche, critics taunt those who say such things with, "Your prayers aren't working - God isn't fixing this."

Catholics, already weary from Papal shaming they claim is coming from Pope Francis, rushed to the defense of prayer and railed against the bloodless persecution of 'prayer shaming'.  Apparently some sort of action alert went out, and the call was heard by members of the Catholic defenders league and faithful remnant bloggers to defend the practice of prayer.

The criticism isn't new.  Secularists and nonbelievers, along with enemies of religion have always taunted believers.  The psalms are full of laments over it ... My tears have become my bread,by night, by day, as I hear it said all the day long: "Where is your God?"  ... You make us the taunt of our neighbors,the laughing stock of all who are near  ... When I afflict my soul with fasting they make it a taunt against me.  When I put on sackcloth and mourning then they make me a byword,  the gossip of men at the gates, the subject of drunkard's songs.

Nearly every psalm talks about the taunts suffered by the man of God.  Christ himself bore these taunts.  I don't know what Christians expect?  Rewards?  Praise?

We do it to one another as well as to those who are not religious.  How many Christians mocked those who sang John Lennon's "Imagine" after the Paris attacks?  Those who placed flowers and candles and notes?

People mock the Pope and the bishops, as well as the Year of Mercy.  They say the Pope is mean and offers only insults to the faithful.  So many feel abused, and return the abuse, condemning one another.  It's no wonder the world scorns and derides us.

The climate-change in the attitudes of religious people reminds me of growing up in an abusive home; fighting parents, bullying siblings, hostile to religious practice.  As one who grew up in such a hostile environment, and experiencing so much 'shaming' even from people outside the home, I'm kind of accustomed to this sort of treatment.  My sister used to say, 'if God is so good, then why are you so screwed up?'  My mother called me a hypocrite every time I did something wrong, 'you run to church for Mass and come back worse than before.'  My dad and brother were worse.  Even the priests and school sisters were mean and said I prayed too much or was just pretending to pray, or 'you'll never amount to anything.'  LOL!  Sounds like a bad movie, Ive replayed too many times on this blog before - the general conclusion seemed to be: Prayer isn't working - God's not fixing you.

We often tell others the same thing.   People say that to lost causes - like some alcoholic or drug addict who continues to relapse, or a gay person who sees no hope for change, we call them hopeless cases and say, God's not fixing this.

Welcome to the real world.

I probably should have kept my mouth shut.

Oh yes Sister, I know I'll never amount to anything,
my dad already told me that.

5 comments:

  1. Jesus didn't come to take away our suffering - he came to transform it. That's why the best prayer is always: Lord, I love you, help me to know your will and give me the strength to carry it out. Amen.

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    1. Amen and thank you. I have to make an extra effort to pray for those whom I dislike and I always ask for the grace to pray for the enemies of God whoever they may be.

      Terry, please do not stay quiet. Share your thoughts as they do help many of us.

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    2. What Yaya said!

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  2. I don't know if it was "prayer shaming," as much as God helps those who help themselves. Yes, we prayer for the dead and their families in a horrible time like this, and yes, we should pray for the violence to stop but God put us on earth and gave us free will and a brain so we can figure this out, along with hopefully his help.

    I think people are just sick of it and the comments I saw were geared more towards people like Paul Ryan and other politicos who say that and then may turn around and vote "against," refusing suspected terrorists of owning guns,..(which to me seems a no brainer and I am not a gun control nut either.)

    I think it was geared more towards "inaction" then against prayer.

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  3. If it was not a blanket slap at all who were offering prayers, they did not make it clear at all.

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