Where do you find your inspiration? In the shower? Just before drifting off to Never Never Land? (“Where’s my pen????”) On the morning commute?
The older I get, the more ‘things’ happen to me and around me, the more I realize that if I prayed 24 hours a day, that wouldn’t be enough. But certainly not practical.
Also makes me contemplate the truth about Practicality.
So, being the practical sort of guy I am, I look for ways to fit more prayer into my daily routine.
Don’t pray enough? What times in your day lend themselves to prayer? Brushing teeth? Dishes? Cat boxes? Tinkling?
There are not many chores more humbling than cleaning pet excrement, whether it’s shovel and bucket in the back yard or scrubbing caked kitty clay off the tile floor.
The only dogs in my life are canine cousins and granddogs (is that a word? Caution! “Dave-ism!”)
This dog lover is now one cat short of becoming a crazy cat lady. With seven cats, cleanup is a real chore. And lends itself to extended prayer time.
Speaking of humbling, it doesn’t get much more so than kneeling on the cold basement floor, litter dust wafting amidst the oxygen molecules, beads of sweat dripping to the floor, hoping the clay doesn’t find its way underneath fingernails while scrubbing the floor.
It’s a perfect time to pray.
While I’m partial to spending that time listening to recorded versions of the Rosary and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, today’s routine was unusual.
I’m normally up at 4 AM on weekdays, ready to leave the house by 5:30 to either see my first client or humiliate myself on the racquetball court at LA Fitness. Thursday is normally racquetball day.
Today, one of our opponents was out of town and the other down with an injury, so my partner and I decided to cancel. I needed to catch up on sleep, so I took advantage, slept in until 6. Today was going to be an office day, all day.
I managed to stay out of Kathy’s way (mostly) as she prepared for work and left by 6:20. Got the cats fed listening to and saying the Rosary and Chaplet, feverishly trying to remember everyone I promised to pray for, leaving the rest in God’s hands.
Daily Mass is normally aired at 7 AM, so I planned to listen as I trudged downstairs to tackle the cat boxes.
I forgot that today is the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. I forgot that today is the March for Life in Washington, DC. Mass broadcast began at 6:30. It was celebrated at the National Basilica in Washington in conjunction with prayers for Life and recognition of the day.
So I picked up the Mass in the middle of the homily.
My pro-life conviction has solidified as my prayer life has intensified. I heard the words of the Archbishop. I scooped and scrubbed and cleaned. I got lost in the words, the prayers…
When I think about our attitude toward abortion, I often think about the Jews rounded up by the Nazis and summarily murdered and tortured. Hundreds of thousands were fully capable adults. But age didn’t matter. Young and strong, old and frail, all were subject to their captors’ cruelty. The prisoners were helpless because of overwhelming force.
Who is more captive, more frail, more vulnerable, than an unborn child?
How can we treat them so callously? How can we not care? How can we not defend and protect them? How are they any different than any other abused infant? To the former, we (as a society) argue for choice and reason. To the latter, we act as prosecutor, judge, and jury, and our reaction to the abuse is often rage.
What’s the difference?
Mass ended. EWTN then began broadcast coverage of the March for Life.
On my hands and knees, I listened to stories of women who had experienced abortion. I heard how science now provides evidence that a 20-week fetus feels pain. I listened to young men and women share their reasons for attending, about their lack of sleep, and how the cause was so much larger than the inconvenience. I heard a report from the Chicago March for Life from Sunday, January 18.
I thought about the countless children who would never be born. Who were never permitted to breathe fresh air, hear and feel the crunch of snow, taste ice cream, smell fresh cut grass. I thought about the women who never became their mothers. The painful agony of regret that will plague them to the grave. Who will never hear their baby’s cry. Or laughter. Or first word. Or “Mama, I love you.”
I heard from three women who were born because their mothers were raped.
I heard from a doctor who was an abortionist until his young daughter was killed in an auto accident.
I thought about my sister’s stillborn baby.
Why do we consider that beyond tragic, but we don’t believe it’s tragic when a woman (or man or parents or other “concerned loved ones” who influence her decision) chooses — willfully, knowingly — to “terminate” a life, but rather argue that she is making a rational and acceptable decision?
What are we doing? When will it stop?
I’m compelled to say a whole lot more about this. In the weeks and months ahead, you can count on it. And that may not to win me many friends. So be it.
If you’re considering an abortion: