I took time out on a very busy morning to pray. The prayer I most rely upon in times of anguish is the Rosary. I pray the Rosary about once a week. It is a very beautiful prayer. One must concentrate just enough (on the divine mysteries) while disappearing somewhat into the chant of it. I don't like to mix church and state, but I confess, I prayed for SCOTUS to do Christ's work on earth, knowing my Roman Catholic high priests won't.
It's very female, the Rosary, it's a circle. The prayers of the rosary still of the tenets of Roman Catholicism the tiny opera that is its chant.
I prayed a Rosary today for the poor and elderly who would be helped by the Affordable Care Act. I prayed for the money that will be saved if the poor who burden our hospitals and Emergency Rooms by relying on them for routine medical care are finally able to be insured. I prayed for the hundreds of thousands of teenaged girls who will have abortions (whether insurance covers them or not) as a direct result of their having been robbed of access to contraception by lobbying efforts driven by the hierarchy of my church.
For those who don't know, Rosary beads are not jewelry although even the simplest ones with their inescapable talisman and worry beads aspects are beautiful. A coolness comes when they slide through your hands. I needed that coolness as I waited, this morning, for the Supremes to do the right thing.
One praying the Rosary begins with a summarizing statement of belief, our Credo. Five Pater Nosters and 50 Ave Marias follow. The "Glory Be" comes early on, offering affirmation of a world that follows this one and a prayer to the triune God. Five "decades," comprised each of One Our Father and ten Hail Maries follow.
The Rosary happens on many levels. It's a chant and a conversation with a mother.
Praying the Rosary can get complicated, but I keep it simple, especially since I often pray it on subway or while waiting for my kid to get out of fencing class. Most who pray the Rosary bear in mind (what we call) the "Sacred Mysteries" (aspects of the lives of Jesus and his disciples) in accordance with a prescribed schedule.
I like to sit before statue of the Blessed Mother when I pray the Rosary. If a church is not available, anywhere works. Today I sat in my Brooklyn yard and prayed the Rosary. I addressed my Supreme Court-related petition to the Supreme Being and Mary. I asked Mary to uphold the moral right of children to see doctors even if their families are poor. I prayed for the religious freedom of those who, like me, feel that giving birth to too many children is a sin -- an ethic most loving mothers understand.
I prayed for the protection of children.
I prayed for a wealthy nation and its moral commitment to the poor, I prayed as a Roman Catholic who is faithful to worship and works in Social Justice ministry. I prayed as a Christian who knows that the current, self-serving campaign being waged by the U.S. bishops against my nation's president -- and against the biblical Jesus I know -- is unjust...
A couple of hours later, my prayers were answered.
It so happens I had lunch with a priest today. He prayed over our food, and I thanked God for the Supreme court decision, for the gift of a government that takes up Christ's cross when as the Roman Catholic leadership drops it.
Follow Michele Somerville on Twitter: www.twitter.com/NYpoet