I'm not a POD ("pious and overly-devotional") Catholic. I like me some candles and frilled surplices, sure, but I wasn't brought up saying (nor do I now say) three daily Rosaries. I don't possess the art of juggling multiple novenas (indeed I can barely hack through one; I usually lose it around day six). And as sweet as the baby Jesus is, I'm more than mildly allergic to those kewpie-doll-like Infant of Prague statues.
So I'm surprised to find myself participating in the prayer marathon that is spiritual adoption. I've been thinking about it for some months, but haven't really found the strength to commit to it -- until recently, when I started this blog and began thinking seriously about concrete pro-life actions. Now I think it makes good sense. If you believe in the power of grace, nothing is more practical than prayer.
Spiritual adoption, for those unfamiliar with the practice, isn't necessarily Catholic or even Christian, though as far as I can tell it has its roots in that tradition. All it means is that you pray daily for nine months that the life of one particular unborn child, whose parents are considering abortion, might be spared. You can use the Christian formula prayer, or you can invent one of your own. You can (and I will) pray for the child's parents as well, that they will be given strength and that their needs will be met. And since we don't know what the case will be, and adoption might play a role, it seems to make sense to pray for the baby's potential adoptive parents, too.
Today, when Catholics celebrate the conception of the woman who chose Life in the ultimate way, seems like a particularly good time to begin praying that other women who conceive may be empowered to choose life. It seems like a good day to pray that those children conceived today may be born and may give of themselves to the world as she did.
Practical Pro-Life Action: If you feel comfortable praying at all, I invite you to join me in nine months of prayer that one more unborn baby conceived today may be born and loved.