As parents, we spend a fair amount of time agonizing over our mistakes. Certainly, we would have done many things differently. If only we hadn’t been grown children ourselves when we made our relationship choices and eventually married. Most of us had no idea our marriages would end. If we had, we wouldn’t have walked […]
Growing up Catholic it was definitely implied we shouldn’t necessarily pray for small things.
Prayers were to be siphoned out intentionally for major requests. A sick parent, financial hardship, or other types of significant anguish. Especially the suffering of others.
There were rules when it came to talking to God.
We had to determine what was okay to ask for and what wasn’t. The small things were trivial. And someone with a lot of blessings would be selfish to pray for these. The larger things meant we had our Catholic priorities straight. We understood what was important.
Does it mean I didn’t pray for the small things here and there?
Sure I did.
But it came with a dose of proper Catholic guilt. I didn’t really believe I should be doing it. It felt like a spiritual dare. The apprehensive Catholic school girl in me tossing up a request, while knowing I was doing the wrong thing.
Mostly, I kept to the major things that were deemed worthy of spiritual requests.
Yet it troubled me. I felt I should be able to talk to God about anything. I didn’t understand censoring. I didn’t believe there should be a proper way to pray. I believed any conversation with God should be considered a good one.
One day I asked my uncle the priest if it was wrong to pray for small things.
He was used to me pushing spiritual limits.
Like the time I prayed to God for a ‘sign’ and then asked Him to show it to me by Friday. In my defense, I was twenty-eight years old and had just lost my mother. I found the cemetery upsetting and I wanted to know she was in heaven and still with me.
I remember the day I told my uncle.
“Oh Colleen,” he said. Only you would give God a deadline.”
And then he laughed.
“It wasn’t for God,” I replied. ” I was afraid I would miss the sign and I wanted to know mom was okay, so I gave a date.”
My uncle and I were super close so he knew my heart.
And I did get my sign by Friday.
When I asked my uncle if it was okay to pray for small things I couldn’t wait to hear his answer. I was hoping beyond hope I could talk to God openly about anything. It had been exhausting sifting through what was spiritually proper and what wasn’t.
“Absolutely,” my uncle said. “You can pray to God about anything. It is up to God to decide what prayers will be answered.”
From that point on, I went back to sharing long conversations with God.
Just as my uncle knew my heart, so does He.
Therefore, God knows I am strong in my faith, grateful for my blessings, value what is important, understand what is trivial, and comprehend what is major.
And I am conscious of what is most significant.
That I am spiritually present.
I want to talk to God.
I want to pray.
Be it large or small.
God will decide if He wants to answer me, even when I give Him a deadline.
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