Catholicism: Day 19 – Sighs too Deep for Words

Yesterday’s spiritual exercise asked us to pray over Romans 8:26-27, which I particularly enjoyed.

26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words. 27 And he who searches the hearts of men knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

I’m new to prayer. I don’t know exactly how it’s supposed to work and I really don’t know if I’m doing it correctly. All I really do is go into my bedroom closet, turn off the lights, and think about the exercise.

I will also pretend I’m speaking to God, which often feels foolish.

The passage acknowledges that we often don’t know how to pray, but it doesn’t matter, for “the Spirit himself intercedes for us with sighs to deep for words.”


There are often things we feel that we don’t know how to identify and express. But the “Spirit” helps up find those things and prays on our behalf.

I mentioned before how guilty I felt about blowing off that homeless guy a few weeks ago. I also wrote about how I’m looking for more meaning in life, through my work or otherwise.

Yesterday I attended an orientation at Miriam’s Kitchen, an organization dedicated to ending chronic homelessness in Washington, DC.

I loved what they were doing. It was very energizing. I hope to begin volunteering shortly.

After the orientation session, I met a homeless veteran outside my metro stop. Instead of blowing him off, I gave him a few bucks and took a minute to chat with him.

I felt great.

I’m not writing about this experience to draw attention to my good deeds, but rather, point out how I now feel like I’m moving in the right direction in terms of finding more meaning in my life.

Intellectually, I can attribute this to my own actions. I paid attention to my guilt and searched for opportunities to help others.

But I can’t but feel there is a Spirit working on my behalf, a Spirit that understood what I needed and presented a path for me to follow.