Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Overdone and overprayed

It has been dawning on me lately how insanely over-spiritualized people on this campus are.  And I'm not thinking of one or two people in particular, it's just something that the entire campus struggles with.  I don't exclude myself from this, either.  I think some of it comes from the fact that we have Masses and confessions and friars and sisters, so there's just so much holiness around here.  THIS is a good thing.  but the over-spiritualization is NOT.

I've seen relationships broken because of "God's will".  Denials from mission trips and household because of "God's will".  Fashion and beauty choices made because of "God's will".  (I kid you not on this last one... unfortunately).  I think it's all extremely sad.

Can't we own up to our own decisions and not "blame" God?

Do I think we need to pray about a decision before we make it?
Should God be involved in our decision-making?
heck yes.
Can and should someone else tell me what God's definitive will for my life is? **
not really.

As I posted here, I had a huge disappointment a couple weeks ago.  It blindsided me; I didn't see it coming in the least.  And honestly, I think the reason that I was so surprised was because I had been at peace with my decision for a year.  Yes, you read that right: a year.  And yet in 2 days, 2 people decided that they knew "God's will" for my life better than I did.  Is it possible?  I guess.  Probable? Not really.

(sidenote: It's entirely possible that these people will read this; if so, please know that I am not mad at you, just at the situation.  It's frustrating, and if you haven't been there yourself, I'm sure its hard to understand.)

Thankfully, a couple people have helped me realize this over the past 2 weeks.  As I stated in my post referenced 2 paragraphs up, I am still not 100% ok with the decision.  I'm still working through it.  But it still really bothers me that the "God's will" excuse was used.  (it bothers a priest who is fairly close to the situation that the "God's will" excuse was used, too...)

I see the importance of prayer, I really do.  But we also have to act.  "Faith without works is dead", the Bible says.  OK, so maybe we should be think and pray, weigh the pros and cons, and then act.  It. Takes. Both.

I'd like to issue a challenge, especially to my fellow FUS-goers: If you make a decision about something, take ownership of it.  If prayer legitimately played a role in that decision, ok.  I've got no problems with that.  But don't put it all on God.

We at Franciscan are over-praying our lives.
And it needs to stop before we over-pray ourselves into oblivion.

**I'd like to make sure you understand me- spiritual directors do give this kind of, well, direction, but they still do not say "This is exactly what God wants you to do".  There's definitely a difference.


  1. LOL A friend of mine was standing in front of his Tshirt drawer and his wife asked what he was doing. He said he was deciding on which Tshirt to wear. She said "Pray about it"

    When at a "Crossroads" always pray, always seek advice and discern the advice. But our Heavenly Father gave us free will on purpose. We either choose "poorly" in which he will teach us something along the way or we will choose "wisely" and we can fill the chalice and heal our dad of the gunshot wound!

  2. Well said. I am glad you have seen this reality at this point, early in your time at FUS.
    There will always be people in life that either over-do or under-do - whether it's prayer or anything else in life. Finding balance is an ongoing challenge, but one that is oh so important.
    Hang in there!