Thursday, May 23, 2013
Prayer....Prayer Prayer Prayer....Prayer Prayer Prayer...
Yesterday I did an Internet fast. To be fair, I also kept the radio off and TV as well, I was trying to avoid being zoned into screens as I'd found I could easily lose the day. It had happened and made everything stressful. So I turned it off.
The result was when I returned to the computer, the hard slap of news felt like a razor on my finger. It was a reminder of how fallen a world is outside of whatever we do to make things more bearable via love and sacrifice. We are called to be witness and to take stock of each day, when we succeeded, and when we failed.
For the past two years, I've fought (really) doing a family rosary. I'm not sure why other than part of me goes...Sherry, your kids go to Catholic school. You take them to mass. You listen to the mass when you clean the house and already say prayers with them...you do all this and so why in the world would you need to do more? I've answered. You don't. So I haven't. I have told myself we do enough. I've told myself I'm turning into a crazy Church lady. I've told myself to knock it off. I've run as far away from this as I possibly can. Who wants this grief? It's like 66 prayers!!!!!With the kids. Are you CRAZY God? Haven't we already taken one for the team? People will think I'm a FANATIC...even more than they already do. No. No. NO. NO! NO! NO! NO!
God, like the Godfather, does not listen to No. He sends whales to swallow up prophets who say no. (Talk about sleeping with the fishes).
In my case, he sends people with their stories. The hairdresser when I get 4 their badly needed grooming for the spring show, the clerk at the grocery when I'm checking out, the woman in front of me getting her groceries, everywhere I go, I cannot escape. I hear of one mother and her story is not one I can tell, but it is of remarkable courage. I hear of another, who is desperately afraid. They amass, they cry out. They ask for prayers. They ask me personally to pray. I don't know how they know to ask me, I'm not wearing a badge..."Ask Me about Talking to God." So I keep trying to keep it private. I'll pray for them, myself. I don't have time to do this with everyone else. I have to drive. I have to manage them....I have to multi-task.
God says, "No. Be quiet. Be still."
I don't realize how much I want that in my life.
The kids get in but there are the ordinary squabbles about who took whose seat and who brought a toy they shouldn't. There is the tattle from an older one playing the role of virtue child that "these kids are fighting in the car." She neglects to reveal her own contribution to the escalation in hostilities. I want peace. I want quiet. How can I get peace here...and quiet? How can I get them to pray? They're going to push me away if I do this...I'm afraid...I don't want to....and there is this push. Please... please do this. He is worse than my children and they get me to knuckle under all the time.
So Monday, I took a deep breath and told the kids in the car that we would do this on the road. Just a decade. Yeah. There were the oh-no-Mom's-making-us-do-this sounds from an expected few. But we talked about how we had a lot of people to pray for and once they remembered these other people, they willingly did a decade on route to school. On the way back home, we did another. It was oddly...painless. I'd love to tell you there was peace in our home but that would preclude the incident of me moving the one critical paper my son needed to write a report he'd put off all weekend that was due the next day and that he couldn't do except on the desk computer which his sister was using to study for exams because that was the one he liked such that it was now 11 pm and no paper had been typed so would I please do it, and that resulted in a Mom rant about using whatever computer is available that may require me to seek absolution. I did the penance though. I did type it up.
Tuesday, the kids started it and there was a fight as some people felt others were HOGGING the petitions. I pointed out if we do the whole rosary, there are at least 50 opportunities and we can always do more than one request per prayer. I also pointed out that it took true dedication to the craft (of fighting), to figure out how to engage in warfare in the midst of saying the rosary.
To which one of the daughters engaged in the verbal struggle to hold the spotlight answered, "Nice."
Wednesday, when someone balked a bit, I reminded them that prayer is an active act of the will. They couldn't argue. I started. They chimed in. It was already habit. To School. 2. From School, 1. To School again...1. Returning from school. Last one. We did a whole rosary. It was anti-climatic because I still had struggles with getting people to go to bed. No triumph, just we did it.
Thursday. I told them I wasn't feeling up to praying this morning. I was in a bad mood and we were running late. The same daughter who said "Nice." said, "Too bad for you!" and started in for me. Her sisters and brothers followed suit. It is hard to resist such a wave of grace. It makes you wonder why you did. But I can look back and know I spent a lot of energy resisting, throwing up a whole ocean of reasons why not....but listening to the news, I can see a million more oceans of reasons why the answer should be yes. All I could think was imagine what the news of the world could be...and start praying.
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