Thursday, March 4, 2010

My Chaplet, Magic, Prayer and Catholic Beliefs

Yesterday wasn't one of my better days. It wasn't one of my worst ones: but after logging over 58 years on Firebase Earth, that's no surprise. I got to sleep around 3:00 this morning, stayed that way until almost noon - and am surprisingly non-groggy at the moment.

Which may be why I realized that I had forgotten to pray the Chaplet yesterday. I knew there was something more to do. Why I forgot, I don't know. As long as it doesn't become a pattern, I'm not going to be concerned about the lapse.

Prayer, Magic, and Catholicism

Prayer, Catholic prayer, isn't magic. We don't 'get the spell' wrong and have something supernatural blow up in our face if we drop a phrase out one prayer - or forget one part of a sequential prayer. It's better if we keep our minds on what we're doing: but like I said, it isn't magic.

So, that's what prayer isn't. What is prayer?
" 'Great is the mystery of the faith!' The Church professes this mystery in the Apostles' Creed (Part One) and celebrates it in the sacramental liturgy (Part Two), so that the life of the faithful may be conformed to Christ in the Holy Spirit to the glory of God the Father (Part Three). This mystery, then, requires that the faithful believe in it, that they celebrate it, and that they live from it in a vital and personal relationship with the living and true God. This relationship is prayer.


"For me, prayer is a surge of the heart; it is a simple look turned toward heaven, it is a cry of recognition and of love, embracing both trial and joy.1"
(Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2558)
That last paragraph is from Saint Thérèse of Lisieux's Manuscrits autobiographiques.

So, if prayer is that simple, why take up several chapters of the Catechism discussing it?

Because not everybody is just like Thérèse of Lisieux. Which is another topic.

Oops! Catching Up

As I wrote before, I missed praying the Chaplet yesterday. It wasn't a conscious decision: it just happened. As to what I 'really' was thinking - serious thinkers from Sigmund Freud to Rachel Simmons could come up with dozens of cool explanations. But, again as I wrote before: unless forgetting to say this set of prayers becomes a pattern, I'm not going to be concerned about it.

I am, however, dealing with the situation. After lunch I sat down here at my desk, closed my eyes to cut down on distractions, and prayed the Chaplet. Estimated elapsed time, five minutes. I'm now 'caught up' on yesterday's lapse, and intend to pick up with this evening's prayers on schedule.

Prayer, Trusting God, and Using My Brain

I took that last photo after saying the Chaplet this afternoon.

You probably noticed the pill bottle, toward the top. I had it on the keyboard as a reminder to refill that prescription. That particular one is mirtazapine. It's a tetracyclic antidepressant, which is a five-dollar word meaning that it keeps "neurotransmitters from binding with nerve cell receptors called alpha-2 receptors". (

How can I, a Christian, rely on man's strength, when I should be trusting in God?

That's another topic: time to start writing another post.

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What's That Doing in a Nice Catholic Blog?

From time to time, a service that I use will display links to - odd - services and retailers.

I block a few of the more obvious dubious advertisers.

For example: psychic anything, numerology, mediums, and related practices are on the no-no list for Catholics. It has to do with the Church's stand on divination. I try to block those ads.

Sometime regrettable advertisements get through, anyway.

Bottom line? What that service displays reflects the local culture's norms, - not Catholic teaching.