The title of this article just may be an excuse to post a picture of Aretha.
While watching one of the Tigers’ final regular season games in Minnesota, I heard an ambulance siren over the game audio. Instinctively, I said the prayer “Jesus, Mary, Joseph; pray for us.” It was a quick little phrase taught to me in third grade by Sister Mary Getulia (unsure of the spelling, going phonetically here), as a way to offer up a prayer for whoever the emergency vehicle was for.
The seriousness of offering said prayer was reinforced just a year later when the ambulance was for Father Rokowski, the beloved pastor of our church, who suffered a heart attack and later died.
It’s just something I’ve always done. Dave has noted an almost Pavlovian effect: when I hear a siren, I nod my head.
I admit I am not particularly religious. I’ve even broken up with someone over religious differences (Feb angst!) Yet there are some spiritual things I truly connect with and I have my own moral code that is probably inconsistent with my Catholic upbringing. I struggle to see the effectiveness of rote recitation of prayers someone else has written, and saying them repeatedly over a rosary as opposed to a real conversation with God about what's going on in the world. And yet I love the beauty and symbolism of a rosary.
And I love the simple, earnest simplicity of the quick “JMJ” prayer. It’s like wrapping up all your hope, fears and wishes for another person in six simple words.