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In the midst of distress, many people find it difficult to pray and may even question if their distress is a sign they are not faithful enough. “We are an incarnational religion. Jesus assumed flesh and body and lived the life we lived. He made our life sacred. That includes our human emotions,” says Sr. Pat Parachini, SNJM. “Distress is an emotion. It is what you do with that emotion to allow God to walk through it.”
As a spiritual director and a member of the spiritual formation team at Saint Luke Institute, Sr. Pat works with priests and men and women religious who often are in distress. She says it is important to recognize the connection between mind, body and spirit and to accept your vulnerabilities.
There is not one way to pray when feeling stress. A person needs to find the approach that is the most comfortable given his or her relationship with God.
During times you are not stressed, try to develop a practice of understanding how God speaks to you. Seek to develop a daily discipline of quiet and receptivity to God.
Sr. Pat says, “Prayer is an act of humility. You acknowledge you need someone besides yourself.”
Some of the prayer techniques she suggests:
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