As we pray, so we believe, so we live.
It’s a pretty common phrase (I say common, HA) in the Catholic world. It means pretty much exactly what you think it means. The way we pray affects the things we believe, and in turn affects the way we live. It works when you switch around the verbs too. How we live affects the way we pray and believe. What we believe affects the way we pray and live, live and pray.
Yeah, yeah, very interesting, what’s your point?
My point is this: we need to be cautious about the way we live, or it might start to negatively affect our prayer life and our beliefs.
At various points in my life I have been quite uncouth with my overuse of expletives, my joking use of various racial slurs, and my bawdy discourse on human sexuality. Looking back on these times this evening, I noticed several things.
When I stopped overusing expletives, I started to realize that I just didn’t like hearing them as much. When used sparingly, the impact of them increased immensely, and realized that I believed that they should be used sparingly. How I lived changed what I believed.
Inked, cussing is a SIN. It sounds like you’re saying it’s okay!
I’ll just let Calah Alexander take care of this one.
Anyway, back on point. Racial slurs. Now, I’m a tolerant guy, I recognize everyone’s equal human dignity regardless of race. But I also indulge occasionally in a myriad of racist jokes. I don’t believe what I’m saying is true, but there are some amusing stereotypes (my own heritage included). But here’s the rub. I’ve noticed recently that I have started to think of various racial groups as inferior. How I lived has changed how I believe. Now, you can bet I’m going to be ceasing my participation in these “jokes”. I don’t want to allow myself to slip into racism. It’s illogical, it’s ignorant, and it’s downright un-Christian. Even the most harmlessly intentioned joke can have consequences, and not always in the way that you might think.
As you can probably imagine, my “bawdy discourse on human sexuality” is just a haughty way of saying that I made lewd sex jokes. This led me to disrespect human sexuality in all kinds of ways, and allowed me to fall for society’s notion of what sexuality is. It screwed me up royally, and I can’t say that I’ve fully recovered. However, how I live is changing. I started to feel a tug from the Virgin Mary to convert way back in 2009. Slowly I learned to pray for her intercession and that prayer helped me to learn to believe in the Catholic Church. And that belief is now helping me to live the Church’s teachings on human sexuality.
What we pray.
What we believe.
What we live.
All of these forces are powerful. All of them affect the others. How we pray is the easiest to change. If you need a change in your life, whether it’s how you live or what you believe, start with prayer. It’s a little thing that makes big changes.
And I tell you, ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.