Last night our parish had a holy hour for life. Unfortunately, it was from 7:30 to 8:30. That’s prime getting the kids to bed time. I sadly told our pastor there was no way we could make it. Asked if the church would stay open later so I could at least stop by, and he said sadly, no. But then he emailed Dom to let me know that even though he’d be gone to DC for the March for Life, he’d make sure the church was open today so I could stop by and pray.
Well after he took the trouble to email, I couldn’t not go. So after breakfast I bundled the girls up to go say a rosary in the church. I figured we’d probably get in a decade or so, but at least we’d try. Luckily, my sister came home from work just before we were leaving and so was able to go with us.
The church was empty except for a lady emptying the poor boxes. Very glad of that because Sophia was wailing until we got her out of the carrier. We got out the rosaries and rosary books. One plastic rosary for Bella, two for Sophie, books for Bella and me and Tree.
We were about halfway through the second decade when a class of children came in with their teacher and sat across the aisle from us in the first few pews. We started praying more quietly so they could have their prayer time. Every once in a while Bella would chime in with us on a Hail Mary or Our Father. Sophie was squirmy and chatty and every time she dropped her rosary she’d scream. But we plowed on through decade after decade. Just when I thought I’d call it quits, Sophie would calm down and Bella would join in and it seemed we might do a while rosary after all.
The teacher got up and spoke quietly to the school kids and they said an Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be and then filed out of the church. We finished our last decade and then started bundling the girls up. Since the church was now empty, I decided to take Bella on a mini tour, letting her approach the baptismal font and the altar and the tabernacle, showing her the chrism and the Paschal candle and the crucifix and some of the statues. Then Sophia howled as I strapped her back into the carrier and we headed out into the cold.
I felt a little bad that the poor schoolchildren had to put up with fussy baby during their prayer time. At the same time, it is probably not a bad thing for them to see that people come to church to pray spontaneously. It wasn’t a calm, peaceful reflective prayer. But it was an offering made in love. We couldn’t march or hold vigil, but at least we could take a little time to pray for the most helpless.