Friday, September 25, 2009

When to pray.

I'd forgotten something from my pregnancy with Isabella--during which I also battled HG: It is not a spiritual retreat. When you're very sick, there are few consolations in prayer. Although it is a privilege to suffer for a little person, it is also all-consuming. I'll have to remember this: Pray when you are healthy, so that when you are sick you can just be sick. If you are never healthy again, then rest in knowing that prayer--at least as you have known it--is not necessary. Only emptiness and a glance is necessary.

St. Therese reminded me the other day, via an article in First Things, that suffering is not ecstasies and flights of romantic passion. It is simply to be in pain--but not alone.

9 comments:

Melanie B said...

Not alone, no. I remember that darkness of suffering and no consolation all too well from last winter. He is with you, though. Always. Please know I'm praying with you.

Jennifer @ Conversion Diary said...

Wow, what great thoughts. I feel like there's also a connection here to the value of other people praying for you -- the Body of Christ holding you up when you're not able to do so on your own.

Speaking of which, know that you continue to be in my prayers. I'm so sorry you're having such a tough time!

Janelle said...

I'm glad to see you're well enough to blog. Think of all the sins you can't commit because your mind is stilled! I've never actually prayed with St. Therese before. This will be an adventure. Take care.

Lola said...

Good advice. Pray when things are okay.

I remember in labor basically offering it up, but there weren't any complete "Our Fathers" let alone lofty prayerful thoughts or contemplating Bible passages.


I hope and pray you're feeling better soon. May I suggest Ice Pops? It's what I can offer the whole family during a bout of stomache flu. (The littlest one loves the red ones, and the rest of us love the blue. Nobody likes the green.)

e2 said...

Popsicles it is! I found some lemon that works alright. :)

Jessica said...

Jennifer at Conversion Diary sent me here, and I am SO glad she did. Currently experiencing my third HG pregnancy, and what you wrote here on prayer so resonates with what I am feeling . . . "only emptiness and a glance is necessary . . ." I cannot tell you how much I've needed to hear that! Guilt lays heavy in all it's forms, especially the fact that prayer seems so impossible. Thanks for this today! So glad to have found your blog.

e2 said...

Jessica! A kindred spirit! Keep it up with the HG pregs. The reward is great. :)

Judith said...

Jennifer at Conversion Diary sent me here, too.
I will tuck you and your little one and your family in our prayers.

In sickness or pain, I, too, find it more than hard to pray. But I try to remember that the Spirit himself is praying "with sighs too deep for words", and so are my brothers and sisters in Him. Or at least I remember that later; even that belated recognition brings its own comfort.

God bless.

Clare@ BattlementsOfRubies said...

Thank you.
In my twin pregnancy I was very sick with an undiagnosed liver condition.
I couldn't pray and I felt so spiritually defective. Sadly one of the twins was stillborn and I felt so remorseful and guilty for having not prayed harder when I was pregnant ( I had mostly moaned about how hard it was).
I worried that my lack of prayer had somehow caused my daughter to die.
I was away from the church at that time and I believe God used that time of suffering to bring me home.
But I still sigh regretfully at how arid my prayer life was back then.

Your post has really helped me to get a little perpective on that time and to see that maybe my weakness was not so unusual.
I've recently given birth to my seventh child, another daughter. She feels like a gift from heaven. I feel well and strong and blessed and I can pray again. It's wonderful.
Like lots of other people, I will be praying for you too.