Ashe Elton Parker

A Writer of LGBT+ Characters in Speculative Fiction

Prayer

I’ve kept a number of things from my times attempting to be a good Catholic. Some of those things are a number of prayers, and I continue buying Rosaries on occasion, simply because I like them. Every so often, I even use them to pray on, instead of just to look at.

I have a small number of Rosaries right now, and intend to purchase more as the funds become available. When I pray, I prefer the rote prayers of the Rosary, though I do occasionally add in my own original prayers. The repetitive drone of the prayers in my own voice enables me to focus on the comfort or guidance I seek without distraction.

In truth, I rarely resort to prayer for anything. I do my best to get by without it, but I needed the comfort of the rote words and the short, direct, simple original prayer I added to the Rosary this morning. I may not be a practicing Catholic in a lot of important ways, but having the prayers and Rosaries at hand lends me comfort. My faith in God and Jesus and Heaven is uncertain at the best of times, usually because I’m handling things well and dealing with life successfully. I’ve always thought God helps those who help themselves, so I’ve made efforts to be strong and confident.

But Bryce’s death has taken a lot out of me. Last week, with the added stress of my ereader and computer both failing, I had a couple depressive days, mostly due to the stress of dealing with my mother over he failure of the computer, and that I was doing to myself. These were more severe than my depressions seem to be, to the point where I spent most of one of those days in bed, and wasn’t much better the day after. Normally, I’d have written to comfort myself, but with my creative mind on hiatus, I was left to reading and finding other distractions the past several days.

This morning, in the wee hours (when I was still WIDE AWAKE), I took one of my Rosaries and prayed. I needed the comfort, perhaps more than I needed it on my most depressive days last week. As I listened to my voice drone on the Hail Marys, I felt calmer, more at peace with myself and the world. I added a little personal prayer God welcome Bryce to my chants, and that made me feel even better, especially since I know that, as with everything else Bryce knew about me, he understood this aspect as well and would not begrudge me the ability or freedom to make my request, even though he wasn’t conventionally faithful; he would have comprehended the additional prayer was more for my comfort than anything else.

I have a feeling I should have been praying since the day of his death, but I honestly didn’t think of doing so even though I usually have a Rosary visible on my desk. I prayed again today, and I likely will continue with the prayers for a while, until I’m more certain I can go on my own, because, even with my doubts, I find that I feel stronger and more capable and confident if I do pray, and I need that strength, capability, and confidence right now more than I have since before Bryce died.

2 Comments

  1. Prayer, even intercessory prayer, is almost more for us than for any other reason. And you’re absolutely right about the repetitiveness — the point is to take you out of your current headspace and lull you.

    Don’t worry about whether you “should have” been praying since his death. You can’t change it, and that will only add stress. Just accept that this is what you’re doing now.

    As for God helping those who help themselves? Well, Matthew 11:28 says, “Come to me, you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Seems to me that’s precisely what you’re doing.

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