Originally published in American|Writes on March 6, 2013
Today my wife woke me up after I had returned to bed. I wake up early to raise the flags at our Parish Church and usually stay awake and get to work. Today I was just exhausted and crawled back into bed instead of going into the office.
At about 9:45 AM Beth woke me up and told me of the College of Cardinals declaring a worldwide Rosary at 5:00 PM Rome time for the Conclave. She asked if I would like to do it for our family prayer time, and if I wanted to join her and the kids. A little groggy, my first thought was, “I can’t say no or I would be a bad example for my kids.” So I said yes.
Now, that may be different than how you operate – maybe I’m the only one on the planet whose first reaction to unplanned stuff, including prayer, is to grumble – but I knew there was value on many levels for this prayer and its intentions, so my attitude quickly righted itself. And I’m not much for the Rosary, because it is hard for me to meditate while reciting mantra.
So at 10:00 AM, we started the Rosary.
The fascinating feeling I had was the same I get when going to Mass. Here we were, the five of us, praying for something Catholics worldwide were praying for, and all at the same time. Just as in Mass, there were millions praying at the same time for the same thing. One voice. One Church. One God.
There are some 1.2 Billion Catholics in the world. Its universality is one of its attractions. Even if only half actually practice their faith, and if only one percent of that half prayed at this time today for the same thing, I know that God heard the collective voice of six million people seeking the same thing.
And, being a Rosary, there were 300 Million Hail Marys prayed, 30 Million Our Fathers, and 30 Million confessions of sins and seeking redemption and forgiveness when we all prayed:
“O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to Heaven, especially those who have most need of your mercy.”
All of these prayers in supplication to God, seeking His guidance and direction for His Church, and praising Him in ways that are pleasing.
I like things that are hard to wrap your head around. This is one of them.
We decided that every Wednesday morning we would pray the Rosary, joining millions around the world who already pray daily.
What a blessing and gift to be united as One Body in Christ. It is times like these that I am convicted that the Gates of Hell will not prevail against the Church upon Peter whom Christ built.