(Entry below is an excerpt from an entry that was handwritten on 4/26/14)
Prompt: Describe a memory or encounter in which you considered your faith, religion, spirituality or lack of- for the first time.
This was not the first instance when I considered my faith or spirituality, but I remember really being struck by something that was said at my grandfather’s wake. The priest said to all that were gathered, “You should ask yourself, how sincere are you when you say your prayers? Or, how sincerely do you pray?”
And I realized that a lot of the time, I just pray by reciting the words mentally that I have memorized. I don’t say them with feeling. It’s as if I just think reciting them is enough, that it will create change somehow.
I don’t really put sufficient faith or heart behind the words when I pray. I would do it in almost a sense of obligation, not because I believed prayers would make any difference at all. Sometimes I still pray that way, without really considering the words I’m saying, only what I’m praying for.
I think the greatest and most sincere way that I pray is through gratitude, thinking and saying ‘thank you’ when I feel grateful for ordinary things. I enjoy and savor the feeling of gratitude.
I’m grateful that my senses let me experience the world, that my body works properly and I am able-bodied, that I can take steps to become more physically fit.
I feel grateful that I know where my next meal is coming from, that I have enough money to cover my expenses. I feel grateful for my family members, for my free time, for the beautiful jewelry that I own, for hot water when I bathe and shower, and for my comfortable bed.
I’m grateful for my mind, my experience, my education, and my earning power. I’m grateful that people love me, that I’ve never had to go hungry, that I can choose what I eat. I’m grateful that my parents were always so selfless and loving towards me.
I’m grateful to have extra money to buy people gifts. I’m grateful that each new day is a chance for change to happen. I’m grateful for abundance, for the renewal of spring, for the ability to change my environment, for the ability to dream and imagine.
And I’m grateful that I can write, and express myself in a way that feels most natural to me. I’m grateful for simple choices, a low amount of stress, for sleep. I’m grateful for good, absorbing books.
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