The last two posts have dealt with our feelings and our God. I would like to continue the theme, today, while focusing on our responsibility in all of this. For you see what we feel and what we do are not tied together, unless we do the tying. Familiar saying that we utter is, “I was so angry, I could…” Anger is a feeling, but we control what we feel like doing, in spite of the anger. We are the masters of ourselves…or at least we should be. Truly, feelings and actions need not be inseparably bound together.

With that thought in mind, let’s consider some of these feelings. I don’t feel like praying. I know it is Sunday, but I don’t want to go to Church today. That person annoys me so much. What I would like to do to him or her. The list goes on and on and on. Feelings are emotions that are prompted by outside circumstances, or perceptions, or even other feelings. But none of them are actions. None affect others, unless we allow them. None determine our relationship with our God, until we follow through with the action (good or bad).

I am not a psychologist. I am just a person trying to understand myself and relaying on to you, my perceptions. With this in mind, let’s consider the very first feeling enumerated: “I don’t feel like praying”. This happens to all of us, and unfortunately, fairly often. The unfortunate end of it is this… we wind up not praying. Isn’t this letting what we feel determine our action? There are other things that we would rather do. These things are more pleasurable, more appealing, more in tune with our likes and dislikes.

But, at some point in our lives we need to address what we feel and how it affects what we do and don’t do. The task is not very difficult. We all know what it is that we feel at any given moment. We are tired, sad, happy, disappointed, angry, intrigued, annoyed, the list goes on. (There are so many feelings) We also know how that feeling influences us, whatever the “That Feeling” is. Notice, too, how one feeling will draw out others. For example: I don’t feel like praying… besides I feel tired… besides I would rather… etc. Eventually, if we follow that list, I think we can get to the bottom of our problem. Maybe, we really don’t believe in prayer. Maybe, we think god is spelled with a little “g” and just a made-up entity. Maybe, we don’t like our not being the BOSS. Whatever it leads to is tying us in knots. The more we allow it to control us, the tighter the knot becomes.

Right now, the thought that comes to mind is, “The Truth will set you free”. If we allow our emotions to dictate to us, to guide us, to direct us, then we aren’t really following the teachings of the Christ. We are following our own set of rules, our own guidelines. Even Jesus, as He agonized, in the garden, did not want to follow the path He was on. He was filled with fear and terror (emotions). Let this cup pass. I don’t want to do it. I don’t feel like I have the strength. But his fear was just an emotion. His will, His love for His Father, was greater than the emotion. Thy will be done.

“I don’t feel like praying”, this is just one of many emotions that dictate to us, what we do and don’t do. If we cave in to this emotion and not pray, are we not saying to God, I will pray on my time, when I want to, when I feel like it? What emotion is bothering you the most? How are you letting it control your life? What attempt are you making to understand it, to grapple with it, to not let it control your life? If we do nothing, then we are caving in to its demands. We are allowing our emotions to rule us, to dictate to us. We are obeying our feelings, and not our God.

So how good is that prayer that we say when we don’t feel like praying it, but pray it anyway? You are about to say, “But I don’t feel like it means anything”. (There is that FEEL word again.) “I am just saying words, as a result”. You have whispered your prayer to your God. You have told Him you feel dead inside. You don’t have any glow within. But, yet you pray. You give Him what you have, what you can. You persist in telling God of your love for Him. Did He not see His Son weighed down with fear and terror, and yet persevere all the way to the cross? And, what will God say of you? As He sees you filled with fear and sorrow, still striving to give Him your love? We already know His words, “There is my beloved child, in whom I am well pleased.” Pray the Rosary!

Here are some other Posts that have a similar theme. Click on any one of them:

1) God Walks With Us
2) What is God To Me
3) Stop Tripping Over Yourself
4) Trust in God