Thursday, December 3, 2015

My Thoughts on #ThoughtsAndPrayers

In the wake of another tragedy, we saw a somewhat atypical push back on social media against the idea of our thoughts and prayers being with those impacted.

With everyone else weighing in, I figured I had better share my opinion on the whole #thoughtsandprayers thing...

In all honesty, I don't blame the folks behind the backlash against "thoughts and prayers" after a tragedy occurs before our very eyes.

In even more honesty, I'm kind of annoyed by "thoughts and prayers" as well.

The reason I'm annoyed is because our claim to send our thoughts and prayers is so very often an empty gesture.

Okay, I'll take some personal responsibility here: Often times, my claims to send "thoughts and prayers" are an empty gesture.

When I reach my judgment day, and Jesus shows me the stats on how often I actually prayed for someone when I said I would, I'm sure I'll be embarrassed, and probably even mortified.

Saying we will pray for someone isn't actually praying for them. 

Do we realize that? Do I realize that??

Instead of saying we will pray for someone, we should do it...immediately. When we hear about a tragedy, we should toss up a Hail Mary on the spot, not just tweet that we intend to pray. God hears our prayers, He really does, and we need to start living like we actually believe in the power of prayer.

I'm often worried that we have lost that realization.

And that brings me to "sending thoughts."

Stop this. Stop this right now.

Sending thoughts does absolutely nothing. There, I said it.

Sure, you keep the people on your mind for a bit, but what does that tangibly accomplish?

In my mind, sending thoughts is a clear failure to recognize that prayer actually can accomplish what we hope it will. Thinking about the dead after a great tragedy does zero for them, but interceding for them could be the one thing that actually tips the scale on helping our fellow brother or sister attain everlasting life. Or, at the very least, we can pray that their guardian angel was with them at the moment of their death, to help comfort and guide them to the other side.

That actually does something.

Thoughts do nothing.

So, as Catholics, can we stop bowing down to the culture of "thoughts and prayers," and just lift our eyes to the Heavens and spend a couple of minutes begging for God's help, love, and mercy?

Thank you. Rant over.

1 comment:

  1. There was a fantastic story from the Sons of Thunder podcast where one of the guys didn't even just stop at saying a prayer, but made it clear to his boss that a Mass was said for intention X (I think a sick child).

    We can be clear as Catholics that we are praying for the deceased and their families.

    God of the spirits and of all flesh, who have trampled death and annihilated the devil and given life to your world, may you yourself, O Lord, grant to the soul of your deceased servant N. rest in a place of light, a verdant place, a place of freshness, from where suffering, pain and cries are far removed.
    Do You, O good and compassionate God forgive every fault committed by him in word, work or thought because there is no man who lives and does not sin. You alone are without sin and your justice is justice throughout the ages and your word is truth. Since you, O Christ our God, are the resurrection, the life and the repose of your deceased servant N., we give you glory together with your un-begotten Father and your most holy, good and life-creating Spirit, now and always and forever and ever.

    Eternal Rest...