May the malice of the enemy be stunned. ~ St Albert of Trapani
Today was one of those days when I did not ask for my prayer for the day but it came nonetheless, slipping in on the breath of warm breezes. On this last day of the month of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I had prayed the battle prayer of the August Queen for the final time this month, my heart joined in mourning with the brethren of my country, for all that has been lost, for all that could have been.
At my altar this morning, I prayed for the soul of an old man who had died 4 days ago. Late last year, this man had been severely beaten, just for doing his duty. A victim of someone else’s incomprehensible rage. Poor, his voice was too small and no one came to his aid.
For months, this old man had lain bedridden and comatose. But he died 4 days ago. From the depths of grief, his wife in quiet had spoken, He has died and left me.
I found it very hard to love when the news broke yesterday and the videos of the brutal beating from last year found life once more. It was as if this poor man’s death brought to the fore every meaningless loss this broken nation has endured for 64 years. No tree nor rock for any of us to hide from the searing lash of shared sorrow.
A few days ago, I began sensing an inner call to go before the Blessed Sacrament. Since we have been under lockdown since mid May and likely for another couple of weeks, my weekly Friday visits to church have become a thing of the past. But here now was this call, gentle yet insistent,
Come before Me in the Blessed Sacrament
Then, it dawned on me that there was a way: find a livestream of perpetual Eucharistic Adoration. And so I did, and began my visits. One of the first things I did was to place into the Heart of Jesus my red rage against the killer of this old man. I wasn’t having much success with hate the crime, not the person – but I figured God would know what to do.
And God did. The rage was gone this morning. I wasn’t suddenly filled with goodwill towards the one who had done such a terrible wrong. But quiet and deep peace had come into my heart and with a mind free of anger and hate, I was able to finally pray, Lord, may Thy Justice and Mercy meet for this poor old man. While it was not brave and noble as a prayer of forgiveness for the accused would have been, this was a great improvement from some of the other darker things that had been skidding across my mind yesterday.
A short while later, the winds began to gently stir the windchimes outside. With the rising of the last August sun, the calls of the day beckoned smilingly. But I was not done yet. I wanted to touch the Immaculate Heart of Mary one last time today. Moments after I had recited the August Queen prayer, ready to move on with my day, Someone put out Her hand and stayed me with these words,
May the malice of the enemy be stunned.
And I knew then that it is time to fight.