Can anyone please stop talking about the weather? It seems that it’s a favorite pastime among Canadians to discuss the weather. How’s the weather down there? It’s going to rain. It’s hot. Too much rain. Time to go home, it’s … Continue reading
I saw a cluster of maple leaves. Colour turned from green to crimson red. A sign of changing seasons. I want summer to end. Now.
“We hope that your faith inspires you to be just, loving, humble and merciful. We hope that your faith inspires you to encourage the church to be more just, more loving, more humble and more merciful.”
“We hope you find community here, people who will support you, love you, challenge you. We hope that your faith community inspires you to reach out to the larger community — to love others, to challenge them and support them. We hope that your faith inspires you to care for those in need, to be like the shepherd who smells like sheep, to perform the corporal and spiritual works of mercy, to be mercy for others.”
“We hope that when the world makes it difficult to live out your faith that you find the strength to persevere. We hope that you find strength in the Eucharist, in the real presence at Mass and in the people of God.”
“We hope that you are inspired by the lives of the holy men and women in heaven and the holy men and women around you now. We hope that you read and learn about your faith, drawing on the wisdom of those who have helped to shape our church. But even more, we hope that you use this knowledge to live your faith — that your life gives witness to the joy of the Gospel.”
“We hope that you love God with all your heart but that you also know that it is OK to be angry at God sometimes, that it may seem God is silent at times but that you are never alone and that God loves you right through it all. That we love you right through it all.”
“We hope that your faith inspires you to be forgiving, to let go of grudges and malice. And we hope that your faith inspires you to ask for forgiveness when you are in need of it.”
“We hope that your faith brings you great joy and that you share that joy with others.”
“We hope that you see this journey of faith as an adventure, that you know that none of us live it perfectly but that we simply try to do it sincerely and with great hope. We hope that you take time to be grateful for this life with the knowledge that this world, as beautiful and glorious and heartbreaking as it is, is not all that there is.”
Kerry Weber, an associate editor at America Magazine, a wife and mom, offered her thoughts. Her words were retrieved from a letter she and her husband wrote to her not-yet-born son on their hopes for his life in the Faith.
She reminds us that in a broken and hurting church, the church as an institution is not why we are here or what we are here for. Yet we are responsible for it, and that means holding it accountable and working to make it more truly reflect the kingdom of God. The grand jury report is one painful step toward doing just that.
Let them ask more questions and I’m sorry that they would receive a cheeky response.
*Bonus Material: “I’ll be praying for you.”
In my last post I listed “have you tried praying about it?” as one of the things I wished you wouldn’t say to me. Now, I don’t want you to take that statement out of context. I was referencing the belief that prayer will make my mental illness disappear, or that I’m mentally ill because “I let the devil in”. I said this in my last post, and I’ll say it again; “My mental illness is not caused by the absence of God, or presence of the devil… it’s a chemical imbalance that I’ll have to live with during my time on Earth, regardless of my relationship with God.”
Now, I want to make one thing abundantly clear. I am a Christian. I believe in prayer. I believe that Jesus, the Son of God, is the only way to achieve Salvation. I also believe that no one will ever love me as much as Jesus loves me. Therefore, I would love it if you would pray for me. But, just pray for me, as me. Don’t try to pray my mental illness away, that’s not the way it works. Pray for my piece of mind. Pray for me to always have a close relationship with God. Pray for me to be a good messenger; to bring kindness and joy to others.
Offering to pray for a person is always appropriate, if done for the right reason. So, when you offer to pray for someone, or suggest that they pray, talk to God first, and make sure you are coming from a place of love.
I am grateful for Elizabeth to have written “Harmless Things” You Say That Hurt Me: Mental Health Awareness and providing a solution in a follow-up post Reassuring Things I Want to Hear You Say: Mental Health Awareness. Thank you, Elizabeth.
From the ten things, I chose the topic of prayer because I belong to a strong Catholic upbringing. I feel resigned to matters of life at the moment as I am going through another blow-up of mental instability. I depend on all those who pray for me, care for me and their kindness. Thank you, all.
“Have you tried praying about it?”
Yes. The answer is yes. I pray constantly.
I pray that God will give me the strength to get out of bed to feed and care for my dogs when I’m having an episode of bipolar depression.
I pray that God will steady my voice, so I won’t constantly over talk others when I’m stuck in an episode of bipolar mania.
I pray that God will strengthen my resolve when I have racing thoughts of worthlessness that could lead to self-harm.
I pray that God will help me be strong, and learn to control my emotions, so I can be a mother someday.
I also pray about hundreds of things that have nothing to do with my mental illness.
So, yes, I pray.
These “prayer” comments hurt, they really hurt. For example, a few weeks ago I posted a blog about my struggle with depression, someone who read it said to me; “that’s you letting the devil in, you have to pray harder.” That comment hit me like a punch directly to the gut; upon hearing it I immediately got dizzy, nauseous, and frantic. I know, I know, their comment probably came from a good place… But it made me feel so empty. My mental illness is not caused by the absence of God, or presence of the devil… it’s a chemical imbalance that I’ll have to live with during my time on Earth, regardless of my relationship with God. Sure, a strong relationship with God makes everything more bearable, but praying won’t make my bipolar disorder go away. Praying, will, however, help me become stronger in facing the adversity that life has given me. So I pray.
Personal note: Praying can be hard when I am having difficulty controlling mental illness. So, please, pray for me instead.
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