Praying When you Cannot Pray

20141213_231329000_iOSToday is a very hard day. It is a day filled with a stunned stumble, an unsureness of what is next or even why is there a next. Funny how these things can happen to us. We can seeming be on the joyful swing of life and then, snap, something breaks.

I wish I knew what broke, but I don’t. I remember the surge of emotion, the overwhelming pressure of an off-guard assault and the response that came to quickly, first as a defense and then, the snap.

I was no longer standing in my house, in my hallway. I was 50 years ago facing another’s anger that I did not understand. I wanted to run and hide, but to late, the beating came anyway. I was standing once again being told I was the reason for her problem. I was my fault. The voice cut and something inside broke. It just broke, and I don’t know what to do.

Yes, something finally broke, I do not know if it can be fixed. The pain, a dull, pulsing presence that will not be ignored. The only way to lessen its impact is to replace it, distract it, with another pain or discomfort. There is the escape of sleep, but the broken whatever is waiting, laughing, mocking as soon as I wake up.

I should pray, but I cannot. I am so embarrassed that I broke this easily. Last night, I did not want God to touch it. In the small hours of the morning, I did not want God to be around me. Such a horrid, numbing mind to have. I did not want God. This too has its own agony.

So, here I am, a supposed spiritual leader, broken, filled with thoughts of failure and apathy. What will I do. My mind will not pray. So I turn to my hands, to my beads.

The Cross:

The heart feels pain even in laughter, and in the end, joy turns to sorrow. (Prov. 14:13 CEB)

Invitatory Bead

In my distress I cried out to the LORD; I cried out to my God. God heard my voice from his temple; my cry for help reached his ears. (2 Sam. 22:7 CEB)

Cruciform Beads

My whole body is completely terrified! But you, LORD! How long will this last? Come back to me, LORD! Deliver me! Save me for the sake of your faithful love!
(Ps. 6:3-4 CEB)

Weeks Beads

“I have faith; help my lack of faith!” (Mk. 9:24 CEB)

Benedictory Bead

The Lord’s Prayer


I’m not asking that you take them out of this world but that you keep them safe from the evil one. They don’t belong to this world, just as I don’t belong to this world. Make them holy in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. I made myself holy on their behalf so that they also would be made holy in the truth. “I’m not praying only for them but also for those who believe in me because of their word. (Jn. 17:15-20 CEB)

May the beads and this prayer help with what has broken in me, and the thoughts and specters stop and I can patiently embrace the pain, without loosing my compassion.