|3 a.m., St. Andrew Apostle|
Jesus on the altar
Our parish priest Fr. Dan, our spiritual father, in the front pew
So earlier this morning when I went to join other parishioners at St. Andrew's to pray in adoration, I decided to offer up that hour for that man, his wife, and their loss. Soon after I arrived, one of the parishioners led the 12 of us in the pews in a Divine Mercy Chaplet. One thing I've picked up from Mimi (who prays one every day, blessed to be with a wife holier than me), is a concept she learned from Fr. Dan. When she prays a Chaplet, she prays for someone specific, and in place of the words, "have mercy on us and on the whole world" she'll say (and now I do too) "have mercy on [person's name] and on the whole world."
[A quick note about this: since I've started joining Mimi in these chaplets and praying for specific people each time whether it's someone in our family or among our friends, it's been pretty powerful to pray and say that person's name over and over again (53, to be exact). One really feels you're praying for him or her and their intentions. In addition, the prayer only takes 10 minutes. Next time you see that person, you feel you can authentically tell them that you prayed for him or her the other day.]
Anyway, when we did that first Chaplet, I offered it over for that brother in Christ of mine, and said his name with each bead of my rosary. I prayed that he can turn to God during this difficult time. That he can have the strength to guide his family through the darkness. After we were done, I sat and journaled a couple reflections that will soon get published.
With 10 minutes left in my hour, I decided I wanted to say another Chaplet, this time for the mother of the lost child. At each bead, I said her name. It too felt right to say her name and feel like I was really praying for her and her intentions.
Then, as I was about to finish, Fr. Dan came up to the podium and announced we're going to do another Chaplet, and he asked another parishioner Rich to lead us in song before we prayed one. I was like, "Dang! Another one? I'm not even done with my second one." But he was about to start, and I figured it would be rude to leave now (my hour had been done) so I decided to pray with everyone else. But who should I pray for? I already prayed for my man and his wife...
My heart instantly yearned for me to pray for someone else. The baby may have only been nine weeks old in the womb, but it was still a person, still had a soul, even at conception, and he (I felt it was probably a boy) deserved to be prayed for just like anyone else. But what should I call him? He's a person and every person has a name. A voice in my heart piped up again, "Little A". In my prayer, I named him "Little A".
"For the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on Little A and on the whole world..."
Soon after the second decade, I started to get choked up. Saying his name more and more made it each time sadder for the death and loss of his life. A life so full of hope and potential, not to make it. By the end of this Chaplet I was in tears, and I wept. I sobbed in my hands, forehead on the pew, slightly shaking as I tried to stay quiet for the others praying quietly around me. I've never cried in front of more than one person in my life before until earlier this summer when I saw a man older than me, a husband and father I really admired and looked up to, cried and sobbed in front of us other men in Mexico. It was only then that I knew it was a sign of strength to show that one can cry in the safety of prayer and good friends. I felt that way in Mexico, and I felt that way in adoration this morning at St. Andrew's, as I knew each and every one of the people in my line of sight, people whom I now call friends since joining the parish earlier last Fall.
[As I write this, I can't stop listening to this song inspired by this great video by the teens at St. Andrew's]
Lord Jesus, I lift up Little A, a little saint who now gets to pray over his parents from heaven. I pray he gets to you safely. I pray for the father and mother, that they may turn to You during this loss. May everything be for a reason and may that be clear to them. In You I lovingly and desperately pray.