Self-Aware, Broken

Sometimes I just can’t pray. I can’t focus. I carry my prayerbooks with me everywhere and always, always, always have my Rosary and Green Scapular in my pocket. My Miraculous Medal is always on my prayer shelf (it’s gotten tarnished, but I’ll never get rid of it). But sometimes I just can’t pray. My mind gets jumbled in grief and confusion (our first two children died. Our first son was miscarried, our daughter lived 21 hours. We’ve been blessed with our third child, a healthy and beautiful boy who’s now two).

I’m getting regular counsel for addiction (and I go to Confession and Mass as often as I can). I love my family more than anything. I love the Catholic Church and Faith. I just feel like an abysmal failure at living it. Sometimes I border on committing the sin of hopelessness.

“Lady Theotokos, raise me above this world’s confusion, for I am tossed in the storm of life!”


Just trust in God, hope in Him, and do your best.

I’ll pray for you.


We can pray for you when you can’t.

Also, I’m sure the Lord understands that you are not firing on all cylinders because your brain is recovering from some bad stuff. Try and remember that it’s not you who can’t pray, it’s the mechanisms of your mind that are rusty.

If I may make a suggestion, the Miraculous Medal should be worn around your neck. If it tarnished, get a new one. I recommend a hard plastic one (what I have - I use dental floss to tie it on and just change the floss for new when it gets old). Our Lady wanted us to wear it. I started wearing it the Mother’s Day after my mother died because the shrine I went to was handing them out. I think it does help.


That is a beautiful prayer that you said at the end of your message!

Perhaps you can start with short prayers such as that.

Here is a good one: “Jesus, I Trust in You!”


May Our Lord help you find peace.

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I am so sorry for your grief and the pain you are going through. When I am overwhelmed by grief, and I can’t focus enough to even say a Hail Mary, a very short prayer is best. Just “Jesus, help me” is sometimes all you can say, and that’s ok, because He knows our heart and the Holy Spirit prays for us.

My dad gave me the Novena of Surrender to pray and it’s been extremely beneficial for me. It was given to Father Don Dalindo Routolo, a contemporary of Padre Pio. The refrain says, “O Jesus, I surrender myself to you. Take care of everything!” Repeat that whenever you can and read the novena through every day, several times a day if you can. It will help to put your focus on Jesus instead of on your pain. I hope it helps you. Blessings to you and your family.


I’m sorry you’ve had it so tough :anguished: truly -
But wow - you do sound strong - and very loving !
I always enjoy when someone shares - of themselves - like this…,
I get to know who you are, kind of.
I smile and have a tear in my eye as I type this -
…May we all here encourage one another…and share prayers.


I’m sorry for your pain, you’ve been through a lot.
No wonder you’re numbed out and can’t focus. These are very normal responses to grief.

Actually, I think you’re on the right path–you’re getting counseling and keeping up with your prayer life.

I will :pray:t2::pray:t2::pray:t2: For you too

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Try learning Centering Prayer. It’s easy and opens you to Contemplation were words are not necessary, just being on the presence of God who dwells within.

Go to the link and listen;

This is the homepage for the site


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St John of the Cross says, “God is the center of your soul.”

Go there.

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Try following along with an audio version of the rosary.

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Perhaps play some prayers like off of youtube if you can’t get yourself to focus well. But I totally get where you’re coming from. It can be hard sometimes.

Yes, the audio rosary is really good advice, as well as the Divine Mercy. It’s on youtube but I also highly recommend the Relevant Radio app.

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I second Jim’s advice.

If you continue turning to God, He can carry you during those times when all may seem lost.

God loves you so much that He personally took the time and effort to make you unique. You are very special to Him.

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God Bless you, Athanasius Mary.

There are times when the weight of the world weighs us down. Our own grief and worries shackle us to our past when all we wish to do is to reach out to our Lord in prayer. In times like this, it can be nearly impossible to pray through words. It can even be detrimental to your own spirituality to force yourself into formal prayers when you cannot move your heart in concert with the words. I would suggest creating a spiritual inner room, a quiet place into which you can retreat. In this room, there is no need for words. It is a place in which you can simply be in the presence of our Lord.

Imagine a place in which you are most comfortable. It can be a chapel, a childhood bedroom, a garden, or even a forest. St. Therese of Lisieux’s was a garden filled with flowers. Mine is a small plain chapel in which the Blessed Sacrament is exposed. Imagine our Lord is physically present there. He can embrace you, comfort you, tend to your wounds. No words are needed. It is there that you can simply cry in his embrace and pour out your grief. Tell him of those things which weighs you down. Bring your children into your inner room, all three of them. Play with them. Tell your eldest two that you miss them and let them comfort you. The corruption of this world have taken them from you, but Christ has taken them into his care. Where ever He is, so too are your two eldest.

Never feel like an abysmal failure. The light of faith shines brightest in the darkest of nights. Faith is not dependent upon emotions or feelings. It is strongest when it is an act of will. You choose to believe. You choose to persevere in your faith. That is something truly beautiful in this world of relativism and emphatic emotionalism.

I will offer my Divine Office for you this coming week.

God Bless,
Br. Ben, CRM


Thank you for the kind words and prayers, everyone. I’ve felt them today.


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