5:08 p.m. Pray for the Church, by Frank Logue

It shouldn’t startle me, but it always does. The loud crowing of a rooster each day ay 5:08 p.m. The alarm on my wife’s phone has the crowing sound set to go off each day at the same time to remind us to pray for the church. Though I am not always with her at eight minutes after five, an 8:30-4:30 workday and a mile commute home means I am often around for rooster’s always startling call. Sometimes we are at home talking about how our days went. Sometimes he catches us running errands. Sometimes the phone was left at the other end of our apartment and he won’t stop until one of us picks up the phone and dimisses the alarm. Each day, the rooster’s insistent crowing tells us once more that it is time for for us to pray for the the church to be roused to prayerful discernment and action.

Why 5:08? For Acts 8. Acts is the fifth book of the New Testament and then eight for the chapter in which the church responded to a culture hostile to the Gospel with greater faithfulness.

Praying changes the one who prays and I am finding the daily time of prayer for the Church to have the impact of keeping me focused on this Acts 8 Moment in a way I would not otherwise. I pray for inspiration. I pray for discernment. I pray for others to join us. I pray for us all to have the courage to go where the Holy Spirit will send us. I pray for the Church in expectancy. Each day when the rooster crows, I am reminded that we are in a moment pregnant with potential, and I hope for a Church up for being the Body of Christ to a lost and hurting world.

How much I must criticize you, my church
and yet how much I love you!
You have made me suffer more than anyone
and yet I owe more to you than to anyone.

I should like to see you destroyed
and yet I need your presence.
You have given me much scandal
and yet you alone have made me understand holiness.

Never in this world have I seen anything
more compromised, more false,
yet never have I touched anything
more pure, more generous and more beautiful.

—Carlo Carretto (1910-1988)