This morning I woke up after eight hours of sleep feeling like I hadn’t slept at all. My head was heavy with pain, my body aching and complaining. I inched my way out of bed, took my mound of medication, and went to pray. As I began my time of meditation, the pain in my head continually how do the suffering praycalled to me, “Pay attention to me, I hurt.” “Jesus” I whispered. “Pay attention to me, I hurt.” “Jesus” I whispered, “give me strength to pray.” “Jesus.” After a few rounds of this and no ability to escape the constant complaining from my head and find a few words for Him, a simple idea occurred to me. “Pray the Liturgy” I thought. “You can do that and it will give you the words you don’t have and will help you to win this battle this morning.” “Even if it is not a great victory, at least some of your thoughts will turn to Him.” Another thought came to mind, “I offer this pain for those who cannot pray.”

I wrestled through the Liturgy of the Hours and this created enough focus to distract me from the pain a bit and to offer a few inadequate sentiments to Him. Then I wondered how some of you fight this battle. I would like to hear from those of you who suffer but still engage and don’t give up. How do you fight through and pray anyway? This is not a hypothetical question, but a practical one. No matter what your source of suffering (physical, emotional, spiritual), how do you fight to turn your heart to Him?

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Art for this post on “How do the Suffering Pray”: Modified detail of Long Suffering, Julia Margaret Cameron, 1865, PD-US author’s life plus 100 years or less, published in the U.S. prior to January 1, 1923, Wikimedia Commons.

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