Wednesday, May 25, 2005


I've noticed that there's a tension present in my writing about religion between using "I" and using "we". I see myself frequently slipping into the plural voice observing what we find when we read the gospels, for instance.

And it's not just in blogging that I see this. I see it in my prayers too. When I practice lectio divina it helps me to write out my meditation. In fact, I can barely meditate at all without writing. Even in the oratio moment, my prayer flows best with pen in hand. (If only I could figure out a way to write contemplation...but I digress...) So, returning to the point, when I'm writings out my thoughts in prayer, I often find myself slipping into "we" language, as if someone else were going to read my prayer journal (besides the One to whom it is addressed).

I wonder, though, if maybe this is as it should be. American religion not withstanding, our(!) relationship with God is not, strictly speaking, an individual matter -- personal yes, but not individual. When I pray, even when I'm "in my prayer closet" as it were, I'm praying with the whole Church, not alone.

I sometimes use a prayer from an Eastern Orthodox prayer book that asks God to prepare "us" for study. When I copied this into my own prayer journal, I changed all the plural references to singular, since I knew I would always be saying these prayers alone and studying alone. But now I think that was wrong.

credimus sanctorum communionem

Tomorrow I may change my mind.

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