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October 2, 2003
Q had news.

"It says on the radio that Arnold Schwartzenegger has groped six women."

"Only six? That cannot be."

"And every hospital in New York City will be required to give rape victims morning-after pills."

"Catholic hospitals? I don't think so." I was in a contrarian mood. "Did you hear that Rush Limbaugh got fired from ESPN for making a racist remark?"

"What is ESPN?"

"Sports. All sports, all the time." How tedious that must be.

It said on the news that most high school students spend less than an hour on homework. I sensed that. I already knew they don't diagram sentences -- last year Corinna showed one of her AP English classes how to do that, and they were stunned.

Three more GIs were killed while America slept: a sniper, a roadside bomb and a grenade attack. That's 84 in all, since combat ended. Sure sounds like combat to me.

If you're ever paralyzed in prayer, listen to the news. Listen to it with God, who is also listening -- God has satellite. Within the daily news is the material for intercession that covers the world, and every human sin and sorrow. It also covers a few human joys -- fewer joys than sorrows, since good news has never sold newspapers. Pray not only for what you hear, but for what you do not hear: the hearts and minds that select what you hear. For a society that demands blood, sex or corruption in every lead story. For consciences no longer able to blush, and souls who have lost the capcacity to be shocked. Pray for the new attention span -- but you'd better make it quick, for it's not very long.

Much of prayer is marveling over what we see, the good and the bad, and lifting it to God. Even people who don't believe that God plans out every play of every football game have some sense that God is to be found in the events of human history -- if not in their cause, then in the possibilities of good that arise from their ashes. If not in their Before, then in their After.

What happened in the world while we slept? What will the new day bring? The Dow and the NASDAQ are both up, but Gateway announces large layoffs: if it weren't such a terrible thought, I'd wonder if the Dow and the NASDAQ don't kind of like that. The North Koreans say they have a nuclear bomb just about ready to go.

The Lord be with you.
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