Thinking about Conversion
I wrote this Thursday night, after a long day. Be warned, it’s a bit sad sounding, I was just tired.
So, Thursday morning, I went to do my usual morning ritual, hop in the shower, come back and check the blogs and twitter feed and news over breakfast. As I looked at the front page and saw my name right above the words “The Practical Catholic,” part of me wanted to laugh. Sometimes I feel radically overwhelmed, like, I have no idea what I’m doing. I look around me, and I realize I have no idea how to do this Catholic thing.
I know I want to be Catholic, I know it’s the only form of Christianity that makes sense, logically, and as far as where I feel called to be. Yet, I am learning what it means to be a practical Catholic. I am often confused, I’ve not read my entire Catechism, or even most of it. I don’t know all the tenets of the faith by heart or have a big long decorum of accolades I bring to the Church through my conversion, in fact I worry I might denigrate the Church if I don’t learn to keep my mouth shut!
But the fact is, just like my girlfriend still loves me, even after I make mistakes, so too, Mother Church wants me, and calls me her own. I know that given the nature of my other blogs which you should check out by the way, I might look like I have it all down pat but I don’t. I’m sometimes really scared.
Right now, I’m afraid of all the big changes that are about to happen. I’m moving states, moving out of my parents house again, for the last time, I’ve got a new girlfriend, I’ve got to find a job or jobs. There’s a lot of work to do on the practical side, but that stuff is equaled by my thoughts towards my interior life, which to be honest has been lackluster the past week or so.
I’ve been waking up early, and by early I mean anywhere between 5:30 and 8 am usually closer to 6:30 and sometimes going to bed as late as three. I had paranoid delusions on Thursday that someone wanted to kidnap me, and make me pope. I don’t know how some people live this way. I’m worried about work, and finances from time to time, and I’m worried about making everything fit the way it should. My mom, a counstant source of wisdom reminds me often that it’s not in how much we get done everyday as much as it is in doing well one thing at a time.
I don’t know what there is more practical than prayer, and it’s my intent to do this right. Though even this has suffered in my interior life this week. Maybe that’s you too, either way I wanted to share a prayer that has taught me to think and reflect on others more than myself since I started studying the Catholic faith.
I think in times where I get overwhelmed like this, nothing is more practical than getting my eyes off myself and onto Jesus, both in his Crucified glorified personal form, and in the form he takes through others in my life and their needs. Nothing could be more practical than prayer in this case.
The Divine Mercy chaplet:
Skip the grey text if you know the prayer.
Optional Opening Prayers
You expired, Jesus, but the source of life gushed forth for souls, and the ocean of mercy opened up for the whole world. O Fount of Life, unfathomable Divine Mercy, envelop the whole world and empty Yourself out upon us.
O Blood and Water, which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fountain of Mercy for us, I trust in You!
Begin with the Our Father, the Hail Mary and the Apostle’s Creed:
Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name; Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, Amen.
Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death, Amen.
The Apostle’s Creed
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, Our Lord, Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified; died, and was buried. He descended into Hell; the third day He arose again from the dead; He ascended into Heaven, sitteth at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
Then, on the large bead before each decade:
I offer you the Body and Blood,
Soul and Divinity,
of Your Dearly Beloved Son,
Our Lord, Jesus Christ,
in atonement for our sins
and those of the whole world.
On the ten small beads of each decade, say:
For the sake of His sorrowful Passion,
have mercy on us and on the whole world.
Conclude with (Say 3 Times):
Holy Mighty One,
Holy Immortal One,
have mercy on us
and on the whole world.
There’s an optional closing prayer I usually ignore. Also, my friend Harrison taught me to pray this prayer with a substitution in mind, where instead of repeating “have mercy on us and on the whole world,” instead you substitute the “us” for someone you know, or something you care for, or something that the Lord brings to mind.
For the sake of His sorrowful Passion,
have mercy on Haiti and on the whole world.
Doing even one divine mercy chaplet per day in this way offers you the opportunity to pray for 50 people/things. I may not be very practical or very Catholic at times, but there is nothing more practical, or more Catholic than a good prayer.
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