04 November 2008

Faithful citizens

In response to the Most Reverend George J. Lucas' call for a voluntary day of fast yesterday and for prayer before the Blessed Eucharist before today's election, yesterday we hosted an evening of prayer.

We began at 5:00 p.m. with exposition and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. The rosary was prayed at 5:15 p.m. and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament was given at 9:45 p.m.

I was - frankly - surprised by the numbers of parishioners (and others) who came to pray throughout the night.

More than one hundred people gathered to pray the rosary. Fr. Carl, our retired priest, led us in the rosary and I prayed it from the back of the church to take a few pictures:

Young families, retired couples, widows and widowers and everyone in between came to pray for our nation, that we might today elect virtous leaders.

I must confess that throughout the praying of the rosary I was rather distracted. What caught my attention was not so much the number of people who turned up or the piety of their prayer, but the young families kneeling in the pews in front of me.

As a priest, I almost never get to see what it is like "praying in the pews." It is true, I suppose, that during the Mass I could look out onto the congregation to observe, but I'm during the Mass I'm praying myself.

As I watched a young father teaching his children to pray the rosary and a young mother talking with two daughters answering their questions, I noticed a young baby holding a rosary made of very large beads.

As I watched the parents pray with their children, talking to them and teaching them, I was struck by this observation: I have no idea how parents ever find time to pray. But I am grateful that they do!

At the end of the evening, somewhere between 75 and 100 people came for Benediction, and there were twice as many people at the 8:30 Mass this morning than usual.

The people are praying. Let us beg the Lord to hear and answer our prayer.

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