|St. Patricks Cathedral|
So I did something today that I have not done in a long time. I prayed…in a church. Sure, I have prayed before and I feel that I have conversations with God every so often, but I do not see myself as a religious person. Perhaps more spiritual more than religious. In any case, I want to St Patrick’s Cathedral and I prayed for my life.
I do not get into religion much but it is safe to say that I am a recovering catholic. I have 12 years of catholic school under my belt and I can tell you that my thoughts of organized religion are not good. Over the rest of my years, I think I have developed some sort of relationship with God. In the end, I think that is the most important thing. I rather have that individual relationship than have group tell me how I should live my life and who are the sinners.
Although being a Latino means that you have certain belief of the spirit world. I am not stranger to this and while I wont get into them all right now, I think that there is spirits in this world that are both good and bad. But, they will only effect us if we let them. So there needs to be the understanding that I do hold those beliefs that were passed down by my family.
I have found myself praying more often than not over the last couple of years. I have prayed for my sanity and for clarity in my life. There were times in which I just did not know what to do and I have to do the one thing that 12 years of catholic school taught me to do. Since then, I think I have been able to just be me and fight hard to get where I am trying to get to.
Last week I called my mother and I said to her that I needed a huge favor from her. I needed her to pray for me. I needed her to know how important getting into Sarah Lawrence is. My cousin got into the Harvard doctoral program last year and I know they prayed for her…lol. That is not to say she is not brilliant because she certainly is. I just know that she had the support and I needed that. I think she was shocked about my request and happily said she would do it…on condition: I needed to find a catholic church, light a candle and pray with the prayer card she sent me last year.
I knew she was going to pray for me and I definitely felt that I needed to complete my end of the deal. I originally looked for catholic churches in Syracuse, but for some reason, I wasn’t comfortable. I didn’t feel right going to a church I didn’t know for the first time. That may sound weird, but that is how I felt. So I thought that once I get back to NYC this week I would go the one of the churches of my past schools: Holy Cross on Soundview Ave or St. Raymond’s on Tremont.
Turns out that I went to neither. Today I had several errands to run. I met up with a great friend for lunch and another friend who I haven’t seen since we were kids. All of this in the mid town Manhattan made me realize that I should go to Saint Patrick’s Cathedral. Why such an elaborate place? I have been there several times over my childhood and teenage years. I had my High School graduation there as well. For some reason, it just felt right.
So, I went in and lit 3 candles. I sat in one of the pews and pulled out my prayer card, it was in Spanish. I read it the best I could (which I think is pretty damn good). When I was done, I thought about all the people in my life. The ones I love. The ones I care about. The ones I worry about. I asked God to not only help me find my way, but to help them. The only thing I really want to do in life is to help people. My way is to help people through words. I know that cannot be too bad.
I felt good when I walked out. I know I checked in on Foursquare that I was there and I got a text from a another friend who saw I was at the cathedral. She asked me if I could pray for her. I told her in so many words: “I already have.”