Praying for World Peace, Short Shorts and the Holy Rosary

Monday, October 07, 2013

What do you pray for?

I was headed to church when  my son asked me what I pray for.

"I say thank you for what we have and guidance for what is to come. Sometimes I add a little bit of requests such as good health, jobs, and silly things like passing a test." I said.

"You mean you don't pray for world peace?" my son asked.

"Not necessarily. I assume God already knows that we want world peace." I answered.

"Mom, that's why there's so much violence and wars going on. You're not specifically praying for world peace,"  my son exclaimed.

"Nah. I pray and thank God for His graces. World peace is a given, I don't think I need to enumerate every requests, do I? " I asked.

This conversation went on back and forth, so I decided to agree to specifically pray for world peace.

As I got older, my prayers changed. As a child, I prayed for simple pleasures in life. When I got a little older, my prayers were more structured. I used to pray the rosary every day especially in the month of October. Now that I'm a lot older, my prayers are simpler -- more of saying thanks and praise, and once in a while (hopefully) strength in times of challenges.

Although, I kept  few habits such as praying while driving and making a left turn or closing my eyes in a quick prayer while my children drive away in our jeep.

Every day, I try to read a few pages from Neal Donald Walsh's "Conversations with God".

"If there is something you choose to experience in your life, do not “want” it—choose it." is one of the quotes that usually comes up while I browse through the pages.

Where I pray has changed, too. I used to go to church every week. And then something didn't work out that going to church didn't seem like visiting God.

Through out my day, wherever I might be, I would be having conversations with God that I think sometimes when I was walking in the streets of New York people would smile -- because I fit in with everyone else who were talking to themselves!

Last week, after a long time of not being at church, my son and I attended mass together. I tried to focus on the bible reading but I was finding it harder and harder to pay attention. It was probably because I counted 7 teenage girls wearing short shorts!

I have nothing against short shorts. I  myself own a few pairs but short shorts at church?  My, times are changing!
 Growing up, going to church is the day to dress up. People used to say, "put on your Sunday's best." As times change, I can understand why Sunday's best can be a casual day. However, wearing revealing short shorts -- when was that acceptable? Maybe I'm old fashioned or ancient or "Jurassic" as my friends call those who are 50 and up, but was there a memo saying it's acceptable to wear short shorts?

Is it better to attend mass in whatever outfit you seem fit than not going to church at all? At least they get to go to church as opposed to skipping church all together?

Rosary beads. Did you grow up carrying something every day? Well, I did. I carry a rosary in my pocket or in my purse. It makes me feel safe. Last year, my friend gave me a mala (108 beads). It reminds me to take a few minutes to breathe, say thanks and praise.

Mala allows me to say 108 omhs, helps me step away from the hectic day to day routines and deadlines. When I learned to pray the rosary, there were only a total of 15 mysteries. Now, there are 5 more (The Luminous Mysteries).

For me, doing 108 omhs is similar to saying 50 Hail Marys. Sometimes it takes a while to get on to full meditation that I needed the repetitiveness of the omhs and the rosary to calm me down.

We all have different ways of meditating. We all have different reasons for praying. But one thing is common, we do things because we chose do them.

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  1. About church attire: I am 44 years old. Back in high school, I was a kind of a thrash skate punk who dressed like it and most of the youth group dressed rather strangely. The youth group was in charge of doing everything for the 6:30pm Mass.

    As for dress, we had my skate thrash style, this dude named Chuck (who did the readings) with his death black metal get-up (while strapped with his knife), a couple of people who dressed like they were from "The Flock of Seagulls" music group, a couple of girls who looked liked street walkers and god knows what else.

    I remember my old parish priest Father Joe Haley (who was about 80 years old and was the priest in charge of the youth group )and what he said "I would rather have them here butt naked than running around on the streets. At least here, they are not smoking, coking, drugging or drinkin" when asked about why he allowed us to dress any way we wanted and still serve in the Mass. "They will come to their senses soon and they are not turned off to the Word. Is it worth having someone reject the Word because they look like they rolled out of a garbage can or worse," to the members of the church who complained. Also, he would add "They might not look like they are paying attention or care, but they are learning by just being here through osmosis."

    As a father of two high-schoolers, I see ol'Father Joe's point.

  2. It's funny how our prayer requests change from when we were kids.


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