“Pray, Listen, Discern”: Reflections after a vigil

Triptych from our Tuesday night vigil outside Chicago's Holy Name Cathedral. Photo via Facebook page of Call To Action.

Triptych from our Tuesday night vigil outside Chicago’s Holy Name Cathedral. Photo via Facebook page of Call To Action.

On Tuesday evening, I gathered with a bunch of other folks to pray the rosary. We met on the wet, chilly sidewalk outside Chicago’s Holy Name Cathedral.

The sky unloaded on us as we arrived. But the rain eased up, almost stopped, as we began the service. It is the kind of thing that happens when I pray in front of Holy Name.

The Human Rights Campaign and Call To Action co-sponsored our gathering. It was one of seven vigils scheduled during the Vatican’s Extraordinary Synod (Oct. 5-19) on “The Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangelization.” The vigils call on the bishops to “Pray, Listen, Discern” with LGBT families.  Continue reading

In Times of Trouble, Mother Mary Comes to Me

rosaryFor several months, my family has been in conflict. There is anger, betrayal, greed, fear, lies, accusations, scandal — if you picture Game of Thrones taking place in the present-day Midwest, you’ll have a pretty good idea.

I am sleeping with my rosary again.

People say that when you become a parent, you will “default” to the way your parents raised you in times of stress, no matter how intentionally you planned to be different. I feel like in times of stress, I “default” to the religious practices of my childhood. The rosary has long been my companion for staving off intense bouts of anxiety, the one thing I’ve felt I can do when everything else is beyond my power, but I’ve never been in crisis this long before, and so I don’t think I’ve ever said so many consecutive rosaries in my life.

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The In-flight Rosary Club

I used to pray the rosary every time I flew.

I seemed to have been born with a fear of flying. I stayed behind at my grandma’s house when I was 10 while my family went to Mexico for a wedding because I was too afraid of the airplane ride. I took my first flight when I was 19, and I prayed the rosary every day for at least 10 days before it. I prayed it on the plane, secretly beneath the jacket over my lap, afraid I’d offend the Jewish friend I was traveling with. I prayed it every night of the trip, beneath the hotel blankets, in preparation for the plane ride home. And of course, I prayed it on that return flight. Continue reading

Ever ancient, ever new

A friend of mine, a member of my old parish, received the following email and responded to it. I’m emboldening the text I consider important:

Dear Rally Captain,

Congratulations on becoming a Rally Captain in the 2013 Public Square Rosary Crusade!

At this crucial historical moment, you’re part of a Rosary Crusade scheduled for thousands of cities at noon on October 12, 2013, the Saturday nearest to the 96th anniversary of the Fatima miracle of the sun.

The intention for our Rosary Crusade is to beg God and Our Lady to save America from today’s immorality and secularism.

Please know that here at America Needs Fatima, we’re committed to giving you the best assistance possible for your rally preparations.

My friend answered thus:

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