My phone rang this morning at 6:00am. “Such a strange time for anyone to be calling. It could not possibly be a salesman.” Caller ID said, “City of Boston,” and when I answered it, the robo-call voice on the other end spoke of a city-wide advisory to stay indoors while police were in hot pursuit of a suspect who was roaming the streets, extremely armed and dangerous. Now, it is one thing to hear of such tales from browsing too many conspiracy theorists’ websites late into the night. It is another thing entirely to get an official alert from city hall bright and early on a Friday morning. I immediately vowed not to make the same prayer-less mistake that I made earlier in the week when given similarly perilous news. In the wee hours of the morning, before most of my family even thought about arising, I said an Akathist prayer to the Tsar-Martyr Nicholas of Russia and followed it up with the Akathist prayers to the Mother of God that I spoke about in an earlier post.
When my family finally awoke, we continued to pray the third hour of prayer that the girls are used to saying at school and ended the morning with a rousing sermon on their favorite Old Testament hero David who slew the giant Goliath of Gath. By the time breakfast was finished, we did not care anymore whether or not the second suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing had been apprehended (okay, we did care, but not in a frenetic, overly worried sort of way). We knew that just as David came armed against the giant with nothing more than “the name of the Lord, God of the armies of Israel,” we too, though we be small and vulnerable, could go forth knowing that no bomb on earth was more powerful than this name.
When we emerged from our home to depart the city this afternoon, that prayer with which we began our day carried us to our destination here in Montreal. And as I sit now safely in our hotel lobby, I am reminded that no state of peace should ever be taken for granted. For, truly, what upholds this world and makes it spin harmoniously is not some combination of atoms fulfilling random acts of kindness. No, it is the same Lord who created it and even now sustains it. It is to him that we pray and arm ourselves with the weapon of the precious and life giving cross. To him be glory, now and forever, Amen.