Praying For Credit

Perpetual Adoration describes a practice allegedly popular in monasteries and convents where monks or nuns rotate so that someone is constantly praying and meditating in the presence of the Eucharist twenty four hours a day. I have not spent much time in monasteries and convents. And I have not interviewed inhabitants of such institutions as to the current popularity of such practices. But I participated as a volunteer parishioner thirty years ago and it was surprisingly satisfying. I was able to schedule 10pm Sunday when I could be regularly available and minimize the hassle of arranging for a substitute. I was a wimp because the truly dedicated took times like 3am. It was scary because at night we were locked alone in a big dark empty church with a variety of strange spooky sounds. You knocked for your predecessor to let you in. I forgot about prayers for world peace in favor of pleas for someone to relieve me at exactly 11pm. An earlier knock would paralyze me with thoughts of various felonies that an intruder could commit. You were also invited to write prayer intentions in a log book but they could be traced to you by anyone as nosy as me. So I was careful not to write down my big prayers for softball championships and Seahawk victories. Hopefully my permanent record reflects all the prayers I documented for the abused and addicted without deductions for the time I spent daydreaming. If I prayed for a long life and specified how long, I hope I chose a number significantly higher than 72.


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