Not Such a Bad Way to Start the Day

One of the great things about being cooped up in a Catholic hospital is that there are little spiritual “flourishes” all over the place. There are “prayer walls” in which you can stick little pieces of paper containing prayer reqests. A pastoral staff makes the rounds, offering prayer and consolation (and even a harpist) if and when asked for. There are even cross-stitched angels hanging on the walls, which despite looking a little cheesy and Cracker Barrel-esque, are comforting in their own way.

And of course, there’s a liturgy here. Every time a baby is born, they play a little lullaby over the PA to announce the arrival. Like all rituals, it’s easy to overlook or, at worst, see as somewhat irritating. But on those rare moments when you actually take some time to ponder its meaning — such as when you’re walking to the car in the morning to get some clean clothes for your wife — it can transform your outlook.

Suddenly, the whole world, which earlier seemed dull and dreary because of your situation, is full of wonder, hope, and possibility. And so you say a quick prayer for the little one, that their new surroundings won’t seem as scary as their old surroundings, and for the new parents, that they’ll have wisdom, courage, and grace aplenty. And you should probably say a prayer for yourself as well, that you can make it through at least this single day with some shred of hope intact.


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