I love hearing people from the East Coast bring interviewed on the news. There was a plane that ditched into the Hudson River last Thursday. I'm sure you heard that all on board survived. There will now be endless interviews of the survivors but one in particular caught my recovering Catholic ear.
I know I've written a few things about growing up Catholic and please bear with me because there is another one coming up this week.
Anyway, all good Catholic knows their prayers. There is the sign of the cross, there are Hail Marys and Our Fathers. Those are the main stay, rock solid prayers. They are given out as penance and said when one goes to bed or finds any reason to pray. It isn't just say it once and you're good to go. These prayers are said in repetition. As penance you are sentenced to say five Hail Marys and ten Our Fathers for major offenses.
There were times in the Mass when parishioners said prayers like Hail Mary in unison and if you've never heard it before it sounds like the Borg on Star Trek talking in the voice of the collective. "Resistance is futile, you will be assimilated."
Prayer is so ingrained in the Catholic psyche that it becomes a reaction to many forms of stress. It used to be common to see a batter in a baseball game make the sign of the cross before stepping up to the plate. Anytime something went wrong with the TV or the movie projector when I was in school, the nuns would start reciting prayers until they remidied the problem.
So, I'm watching CNBC on Thursday night and there was an interview with a guy who was describing what was going on in the plane as it was going down. He said in a Long Island accent, "We knew we were going down and everyone on the plane was like saying five Hail Marys!"
I couldn't contain my laughter. In my imagination I could see all the passengers saying the hail Mary in Unison. He was totally assimilated in the Catholic Borg Consciousness.
If you are interested here is the prayer:
Full of Grace,
The Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women,
and blessed is the fruit
of thy womb, Jesus.
Mother of God,
pray for us sinners now,
and at the hour of death.