Prayer Essay

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"Mangadi na." "Let's pray." Those dreaded words were uttered every night at 9 PM sharp. My sisters and I would groan, often pretending to be asleep. My mother is an extremely devout Catholic, always insisting that we pray the rosary every night. Sometimes, we'd even get a variation and have to pray a novena, a longer 45-minute prayer. When it came time, my siblings and I would sit in front of the altar in my parents' room, all impatiently waiting for it to be over. We'd exchange glances, smiling to each other when my parents' prayed for ridiculous things. We created childish games during prayer time, like seeing who could last the longest without laughing. Not only did we pray the rosary every night, my mother insisted that we pray in the car on our way to school every morning. My responses were monotone, spitting out the prayer from years of memorization. I'd look out the window and get lost in daydreaming rather than taking the prayer seriously. The same was evident when we attended Church every Sunday. Rather than paying attention to the priest and listening to his homily, I'd sit and let my mind wander about what I'd be doing next weekend or of all the work I had yet to finish. My mother had attended an all girls’ Catholic school throughout all of her 12 years of school, where they were forced to memorize every prayer and were chastised if they didn't. For my 12 years of school also, she played the role of the nun, forcing my siblings and me to pray and memorize as many prayers as possible. I never really appreciated my mother's religious fervor. When it was forced upon me, prayer felt like a burden, something I wanted to get over with rather than something that enriched my life. Growing up, I always had anxiety that lurked in every corner and jumped out at the most unexpected times. Often times when I was younger, my parents went away on business

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