Home/Rod Dreher/The Power Of Not Praying

The Power Of Not Praying

A fallen-away Catholic named “Ellery” left an interesting comment this morning in the “Why They Left God” thread. I encourage you to read the whole thing. This was the most notable part of it, I think:

Years later, I have realized, especially after living in Israel and seeing Judaism in all its forms, that what is missing isn’t “liberal” or “conservative” but rather, a discipline of prayer. No one really taught me that, not my conservative, crazy 7th grade Catholic teacher who told us all the divorced & remarried parents of her students would go to hell for what they’d done, and showed us really horrible anti-abortion movies- nor the Jesuit church where God was sometimes referred to as “She” and Latin America was high on the list of things we talked about at Mass.

Marshall McLuhan — yes, the media theorist; he was a devout Catholic — said this:

I never came into the church as a person who was being taught Catholic doctrines. I came in on my knees. That is the only way in. When people start praying they need truths; that’s all. You don’t come into the Church through ideas and concepts, and you cannot leave by mere disagreement. It has to be a loss of faith, a loss of participation.

You can tell: when people leave the Church, they have quit praying. The active relating to the Church’s prayer and sacraments is not through ideas.

Me being me, I can’t be reminded of this often enough.

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. He has written and edited for the New York Post, The Dallas Morning News, National Review, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Washington Times, and the Baton Rouge Advocate. Rod’s commentary has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, the Weekly Standard, Beliefnet, and Real Simple, among other publications, and he has appeared on NPR, ABC News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the BBC. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with his wife Julie and their three children. He has also written four books, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, Crunchy Cons, How Dante Can Save Your Life, and The Benedict Option.

leave a comment

Latest Articles