Should You Smoke While You Pray?


 While I was still in university, a Jesuit once asked me this question,

god-creator
creation of the heavens michelangelo

‘Is it alright for someone to smoke while they pray?’

My immediate, indignant response was,

 ‘Of course not.’

So he challenged me,

‘Would it be alright for someone to pray while they smoke?’

forgiven not perfect

Don’t you love how the Jesuit mind works? One interesting comment on this post on another site was that the puritan way of  thinking has tainted most of us and distorted Catholic spirituality.

On Catholic Forum someone submitted this photo saying, ‘there’s always been one form of smoking and prayer that’s always been approved…’

11 thoughts on “Should You Smoke While You Pray?

  1. This really hits home! Yesterday I quit smoking. I would very often pray a rosary while having a cigar in the back yard – relaxing – contemplative. Rather than offering my ashes up prematurely, I decided to quit the cigars (so I need all the rosaries I can get). Blessings

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      1. I’ve been giving this a little more thought Melanie. Here’s the issue. If the question were asked, should you pray while you smoke, no one would be taken aback with yes. I think when one asks should you smoke while you pray, the shock comes from the apparent lack of priority given to praying if you say yes. If the question refers to not giving full attention to praying when you’ve comitted yourself to it, I think one shouldn’t smoke. If one is smoking then by all means bring on the prayer.

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      2. Of course you are correct. but….This also occurs to me.. I think our original indignation at the question does uncover the fact that we often hold God at arms length , approaching Him with the proper reverence but at the same time while wearing our sunday best attitudes, masks and behaviour. He already knows everything about us and desires to touch and every sordid detail of our beings, saturating every shadow with light. Transformation only happens as we relax, trust and open every memory, habit, inclinaton to ourselves and to Him

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  2. Gosh I know exactly what you mean about the puritan way of thinking. I don’t smoke but why do we sometimes get so critical about it? I’ll take the incense for sure! It means I’m in church.

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  3. Very thought provoking! The incense at church always makes me feel wheezy. I find myself holding my breath, isn’t that silly? We all have our bad habits, that’s for sure, and it seems like that’s exactly when we need to be praying!

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