Lent 17 ~ Ireland Lights the Way

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O most loveable Jesus, the sighs of my heart rise up to You.

~  St. Bernadette Soubirous


          This morning, a troubled heart from Ireland sought prayers from me and a few others. The threat of losing one’s home is not to be taken lightly, not when it involves the construction of a windfarm on private land and a complete change of life. So, I sent up a quick prayer to God, asking Him how He wanted me to help.

          A thought popped into my head immediately. Offer to pray the St Joseph novena for this person, Enda. And it was the most perfect prayer for the time. Enda was the very same person who contacted me some years back and told me he had a strong feeling that I should recite the St Joseph novena for my workplace problems. And I did it, praying the novena a number of times in the years since. Although it took time, one by one, my workplace issues got resolved. I never forgot the power of those prayers. I never forgot St Joseph, the silent Discerner of Dreams. And I never forgot this beautiful soul, a family man with young children, who took the time to care for a stranger by introducing me to this particular devotion and who prayed so much for me too.

          Right after I replied to Enda telling him I would offer up the full 9-day novena for his sorrow, I learned that today, the 11th of March was indeed the first day that the novena is traditionally prayed, to end on the 19th, the feast day of St Joseph. I hadn’t known that and had not planned on praying the novena at all till this plea for help.

O most loveable Jesus, the sighs of my heart rise up to You.

          Truly, everything in life is ordered and ordained by the Almighty. What transpired this morning was no coincidence. My friend’s sighs had risen up and reached Jesus. And it is the will of God that all of us whose help was sought, unite our prayers with Enda’s. We all live in different parts of the world, yet, as members of Christ’s body, faith and love joins our hearts in the precious unity that marks those who love Jesus.

          Feeling now the mystical sweetness of this call to prayer, a warm fire lit in my heart for my friend. And then, I realised something.

          Three days ago, heeding the kingfisher’s call to be still and listen, one of the three presses of spirit I received was of Ireland. I had gone in immediate search of what Ireland meant for me but nothing remained long enough on my heart. I retreated, but in the belief that it would be revealed in due course.

          Now, lit by the first rays of the sun of understanding, an invisible finger traced a trail,

Ireland. Enda. St Joseph. 




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