I can’t remember the last time I’ve prayed. I’m not a religious person but it bothers me that I can’t remember.
I graduated from a Catholic school run by nuns and spent almost 11 years there, praying was a natural thing to do. I used to go to mass in the morning before class and know verses from the Bible that I find uplifting and motivational. I loved reading stories and once had the privilege to teach Catechism. I went to church with my family to hear the Sunday mass and had a rosary on my pocket just because it felt empty without it there. When I felt lost the place I first go to was the church, it doesn’t matter if I kneel or pray, just being there calmed me.
When did I forget? Why? It’s not much about forgetting the words or the stories, those things are easily learned and understood, it’s more of forgetting the feeling. And the more I think about it, the more I feel guilty and confused.
I still pray but not really pray. Every day I ask for my family’s safety, for their health and I ask for forgiveness. But that’s not really praying, it’s like going through motions, reciting a rehearsed line over and over. It feels empty.
I had the opportunity to live in Dubai for some time and while I was there I got the chance to interact with people whose faith seemed stronger than mine. There I saw people stop whatever it is they’re doing to cleanse themselves and kneel for prayer regardless of where they were. It was both beautiful and inspiring.
I know how to pray, it’s not like I forgot how. It’s like confiding your secrets to a friend.
It’s just that somehow, I can’t bring myself to do it. I know if I just say the words it wouldn’t be any different from how I am doing it right now and that’s not what I want or what I need. It scares me to think of what will happen if I kneel and start to really pray. I’m afraid of how vulnerable I’d feel after and that fear stops me from surrendering and opening my heart. I am afraid, I admit it, and unless I get over my fear I will not find the peace I want. There is a lot of things I want to say but I cannot find the words how. But sometimes, when I feel too troubled, I close my eyes and I know I don’t need heavy-handed words, if I just stay still, even for a time, I feel a little unburdened, a little bit stronger and I know, for sure, He is just waiting for me to be ready and come to Him on my own.