I drove home the other night after having a B&B (beer & bullshit) with my friend. I turned off the radio. I needed silence and I enjoy the sound of a car on an untraveled road. The thumping of the tires on pavement is a nice peaceful pace.
And I realized after awhile that I was praying out loud. I had moved effortlessly and unconsciously through my litany of prayers: the Our Father, the Hail Mary, the Glory Be, the Hail Holy Queen, and the Act of Contrition. I realized that I meandered through them like lyrics from a favored song. My mouth is accustomed to the words and my tongue moves the phrases through my lips as easily as I swallow saliva. I’ve said these prayers thousands and thousands of times. They are the mantra of my Faith. They’re the songs of my sorrows. They’re the words of my worries. They’re the praises of Humanity’s Parents.
I stopped the words and I wondered if it was disrespectful to offer an offering without thought. And then I thought - but the words are so comfortable to me. They’re my blanket I gather around my shoulders when I’m chilled from the coldness of humanity. They’re my pacifier when I must close my mouth because my words have no weight. Yet I must keep my mouth active as I wait in anticipation of my appropriated time. I replace the words I want to say with the words I must say in that wait. And I realized that the prayers are my comfortable conversation that I have with my closest when we know we’ve had the conversation so many times that the sameness of the words are as cozy to us as the concepts they represent.
And my cell phone trilled and I reached over and I turned off my phone so that I could talk to the One who listens most closely to my words and hears my familial call.