The earliest images of the ‘church personified,’ painted by 2nd century Christians in Rome, were of a woman named ‘Orans,’ prayer.  She is the icon of the Church at prayer, the Church seen as Christ’s virgin Bride interceding of behalf of all and for all.

Orans Adoring

Every Monday at Dowling Catholic High School here in Des Moines, they have Exposition of the holy Eucharist during the school day for parents to come in and pray for their children.  {aside: what an unspeakable privilege it is to have the Eucharist in the building where we Dowling-dwellers work, giving me no excuse for failing to Adore}  Over the last three years, whenever I have entered the chapel to pray on Expo-Monday I have never once, aside from the school priest-chaplain, seen a man in the chapel praying during those hours.

Now I fully admit I may have missed a Dad, but just the other day I shared with a friend this ‘praying women’ observation.  Then the very next day I came across this article.

Woman’s Witness

As I reflected that day more deeply, I recalled that it is my wife so very often who calls our family to prayer in the evenings with great consistency and vigor.  She loves prayer, and I watch and learn.

So, I would like to say ‘thank you’ to all you women who pray so faithfully.  To Dowling Dads, before the school year ends shed a little blood, leave work and risk some time in your busy Monday to confront Christ-in-Your-Face about your child. Adoring Christ’s sacrificial Sacrament will empower you to look like your supposed to, which is the best gift a Dad could ever give his kids.

Don’t give up on us guys, O Women, we need your Orans to help us look like Him…

One comment on “Orans

  1. Joel and I attended Mass there one recent Friday morning. There were maybe 10 young gals who arose early to receive their Daily Bread. Very reverent and prayerful – a terrific witness to me. However, there was only one young man in the chapel — the altar server. It obviously caught my attention. So goes Dad, so go our sons? Great post, Dr. Neal. I hope the message is received … if only from one dad.

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