Rosary

Loader of the Prayer~Cart

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          My weekend began with an examination of my conscience, and a doubting of the path I was now on – to empty my prayer~will. To empty it (of petitions) – for God to fill it. Off and on, through the weekend hours, I kept going back to this – Was it the right thing to do?

          Then, my mind wandered over the changes and happenings that had ensued from the new prayer.

          There had been power. Strength. There had been joyous, unexpected  happenings.

          And yet, I continued to nibble at the certainty, slowly ragged-ing its smooth edges. What if I was wrong? In these days of fake news and lies and distortion and illusions, had I veered off the True Path? What if I was wrong to empty my prayer~will?

          On the Feast of the Divine Mercy, I went before God. You have to answer me, I insisted.

          The first reply came through Susan Skinner’s post, If You Seek Healing. Of the many things that lit up in her piece, this caught me firmly – once you have emptied all of you, you can be filled up with God.

          And I learned yet again that the emptying of my prayer~will was the Will of God Himself. It was not a hardening of my heart, as I feared. It was not a callous disregard of the entreaties of others.

          It was another step in the journey of Surrender that I first began almost ten years ago. One I veered off many, many times, and returned to as often. And now, with the emptying of my prayer~will, I was tentatively opening myself up even further, laying everything of me at His Feet, to be used as He pleased. During Lent this year, my spirit got caught in the Call of the little Consoler, the Fatima seer, Francisco Marto. As I began to try to offer up little beads of Chaplets and Rosaries, solely to console the Wounded Heart of Jesus, like the little Shepherd had done, I learned of this little by-path the  emptying of the prayer~will was leading me to.

          But my learning was in no way over. Something else of Susan Skinner’s post remained in me: humility. When the eyes of my heart turned to it, I found it in a little pouch, its strings fastened such that I could not undo them to understand what deepened meaning Humility held now for me.

          But meaning came soon enough. That night, I read the words of a niece of the soon to be canonized little shepherd-seers. Jacinta Pereiro Marto said, “God chose my uncle and aunt because this is what He wanted, so much that my grandfather used to say that the Virgin wanted to come to Fatima and she chose his children, but that we didn’t deserve anything.” Because of this attitude instilled in the family by her grandfather – father to Blessed Francisco and Jacinta Marto – “we always lived very simply because God chose, and He chooses who He wants. We don’t deserve anything.”

          Her humility, the humility of that entire family despite understanding the import of the apparitions in Fatima all those years ago, was like a flower bursting into bloom for me. I realized that the erasing of my will in my prayers was a deepening of humility. To understand that it was not for me to ever occupy the driver’s seat of prayers. And not even to decide for myself which prayers to load onto my cart to take to Heaven.

          For the God who chooses me to drive the cart, is the same one Who will decide whose need gets onto mine and whose goes to another prayer~cart.

          Although I still do not understand why I have been brought to this point of placing even this freedom to pray for others in His Divine Will, for now, I feel a deep security in the Marto wisdom, God chose, and He chooses who He wants.

          The same God who chose my prayer~cart, will fill it with the needs He chooses.

 

Lent 36 ~ Water from the Wounds

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          Since Sunday, I have been trying to get the family to reduce the hours we spend on ourselves, and instead, carve out minutes for the Lord through an additional Rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet. Throughout the course of each day, when school and work ends and we come home, we slip away to our nooks for a bit, and offer a decade as often as we can.

          It’s not much, I know. Not when you compare it with the greatness of what many others offer the suffering Lord in this most holy of weeks. Not when churches are being bombed and lives being snatched away. Not when even those short minutes we give Him are pock-marked with distractedness and hurry and so many other mottles.

          But small it may be, it is willed by heaven for us. And I know it because I am not capable of pulling this out of my own head. It wasn’t until some days into it, that I realized that we were, in fact, consoling the Wounded Heart of Jesus. It has given me much joy to be able to at least offer this; greater joy that the family is part of it too for the first time. All we offered were our minutes. We didn’t ask for anything in return. 

          And yet, the short days we have lived since Sunday are different. There’s a depth and gentle peace overshadowing the tired hours. Despite the hectic work-calls. Despite the little pricks of hurt and humiliations that form the fabric of every life.

          I put out my hands and receive this grace of Holy Week peace and strength with deep joy. And with sadness too because what we have received is so very much more than what we have given. Jesus had no one with Him in those terrible hours of Agony. Today, so many lifetimes later, my family and I timidly approach Gethsemane; sometimes we reach out and touch Him, often we stay among the shadows of busyness and self.   

          And yet, He holds it not against us, but sears us with His Love, far beyond the worth of our blighted offerings.

          This love which I suddenly feel with a new keenness enflames my heart with a yearning to go beyond our Gethsemane offerings, to do more for the Suffering Jesus. This too is new for me. I do not belong to the company of those who willingly suffer for Christ. Spiritual timidity renders me a shabby candidate for this esteemed group who love their Lord with all their soul to the point of death. The prayer to escape suffering must be, by far, the prayer I most often pray.

          Hence, the wanting to suffer for Him now takes me a bit by surprise. Do what? I wonder. Almost instantaneously, I see a situation unfold itself before me. It is a work situation with several very unpleasant people. People bent on making other lives a misery. People who thrive on the pain of others. And I sense Jesus wanting me to go forwards and face this lot for Him. Not to run away, to avoid them – even if it is to keep the peace. But to bravely face them if need be and to be genuinely sweet about it. To do it for Jesus.

          I wanted to run and hide instead.

          I didn’t want to see these arrogant and rude people, much less be sweet about it, because I know who they are and what they were capable of. I didn’t want to be punched in my face, so it didn’t make sense to go looking for a punch.

          An hour later, striding into work, hoping not to be asked to be sweet, I saw a familiar form on a nearby seat. There she is, I thought caustically, my sour little owl, praying rain on everyone.

          Then I heard my own voice in my head, Do it for the Wounded Jesus.

          For my Wounded Jesus, I whispered obediently. Before I could even process that, I realized I was smiling at the woman.

          I got a sullen stare for my efforts, and I’d be lying to say it didn’t hurt because I’ve never done such a thing to anyone. But I whispered again, For my Wounded Jesus, although I felt no love in my heart for that woman.

          That was the only test I faced today, and in the later hours, I did wonder why there weren’t more. After all, I didn’t fare that well; my heart wasn’t flooded with love. Not for that person. Not for the Cross either. It felt more like failure than anything else.

          It wasn’t until I stumbled home from work, bone-weary, very late in the day, that I realized something had happened as a result of the single For my Wounded Jesus. From that moment of suffering, tiny though it was, a gentle and cheery patience had begun gurgling and bubbling thorough my spirit like a happy brook, silvering its way through quiet fields. Despite the tough work day, on and on that little stream went forth, spilling its diamonds into one weary riverbed pocket after another.

          Again, for one paltry offering, an overflowing of grace in return.

          The eyes of my heart go to the Divine Mercy. The stream of comprehension slowly reaches me. Rays of Blood and Water emanating from the Holy Wounds.

          I realise what I have received today. Water from the Wounds.

Lent 26 ~ Fighting the Weeds

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          I went to bed last night, dead inside and tired. I had heeded a call to share a verse from Isaiah with one of my children who had come home with poor grades. I was reluctant to – initially. The verse was They shall live in the houses they build, and eat the fruit of the vineyards they plant ~ Isaiah 65:21,  and it came after I had breathed a prayer for heavenly illumination to handle this escalating problem. Nonetheless, answer or not, I was not sure if I had heard heaven right. In all times past, whenever I was hurt or upset over something, my prayers had always taken me to God’s gentle rebuke or comfort or strength.

          If I had read Isaiah 65 at any other time, the verses in the chapter would surely have comforted and lifted drooping spirits. But this time, all I saw in They shall live in the houses they build, and eat the fruit of the vineyards they plant – was a warning.

          A warning to my child.

          I had come from a life where my mother had liberally used the Bible and God to cow me into submission. I didn’t want to be my mother; I wanted none of her in the way I mothered my own brood. So, naturally, I was more than a little unwilling to take Isaiah 65:21  – as a warning – to my child. There had to be another way.

          Everything then went dead inside. No whisper, no murmur. However insistently I troubled the depths of me in search, my spirit stubbornly yielded nothing.

          It folded in on itself. And I found myself locked out. All I had with me was Isaiah 65:21.

          It was as if by asking God for an alternative, He was answering me by giving me none.

          Breathing a silent prayer, I shared the verse with my child.

          It was not the most pleasant or easy of encounters.

          I had been raised to fear God. My children had thus far been raised to love and trust Him. When they do wrong, we teach them to see the hurt they had caused God. Negative fear of God had damaged my relationship with God for so many, many years, and I swore I would never allow that in our lives now.

          Yet, what I sensed in the call of yesterday was that I was not to water down or strip the words of Isaiah of its sternness. I was to give them as they were.

          Deeply unhappy, I obeyed, all the while hoping I had read the call right.

          As feared, in sharing the verse as it was, I hurt my child – which in turn, hurt me. I was not rewarded with flooding joy to tell me all would be well. All I carried away with me was the wounded look in clear, jovial eyes over the message that if change was not willed and adhered to, there would be consequences to live with.

          It was deeply unpleasant to see my hurting child, and worse, to know I was the perpetrator.

          This morning, dulled in spirit upon rousing, in the cold stillness of a day still caught in the dark of slumber, I heard the unmistakable strains of Ave Maria, Ave Maria, Ave Maria, in my heart. They followed the tune of a hymn I heard sung in a Fatima apparition video, The 13th Day, that we had watched as a family on Annunciation Day. Most mornings, I say the Rosary of Atonement – the Divine Mercy chaplet, and I had intended to do just that today.

          But the Ave Maria strummed stronger than ever against my heart. It blocked out every other hymn I tried to play against it. It was odd, something I had never before experienced.

          Hours after I had obeyed, joy began to trickle into my heart and into the heart of my child. This made me ponder the chain of events, the connection between points.

          Isaiah. Obedience. Repentance. Fatima. Rosary.

          Did this mean the sun would never retreat from this point on? That is not possible, I think. Raising children is rarely a perpetually happy jaunt through flowering meadows. The weeds of challenges and struggles is a constant presence in every family life.

         These challenges are not to be made light of. Not to be watered down, plastered over, just to protect our beloved children from the unpleasantness of God’s judgment. Sister Lucia of the Fatima apparitions has said: “The final confrontation between the Lord and satan will be over Family and Marriage.” And she is right. What had happened to our family was not just a simple matter of exams or school. Our child’s problem had its roots in spiritual disinterest. A dangerous spiraling that starts out innocuous, but can see likely ending in spiritual death as it slowly chokes and leeches life out.

          And when one life is affected, it hurts the entire family. That is the insidious power of spiritual lethargy. If we step aside and simply allow our lives and hopes to unravel by making excuses for it, by refusing to face it for what it is, then what happens to a single child can extend death to the marriage as well.

          A year ago, I had a deeply upsetting dream that satan was hunting our children as recruits for his evil army. Since the dream, my husband and I have assumed the watchman’s post at every plausible point of entry.

          But I think we made one mistake. We expected satan to come with a burst and a bang. We were on guard for the inevitable commotion and ruckus that would have heralded his attempt to enter our children’s lives.

          But he is not called serpent and wily for nothing. He came to our children alright. But he came in the deadliest of silences – spiritual lethargy. He came in small and light and quietly. Like weeds in the flowerbeds. A prayer missed here and another missed there. Mild disinterest in Mass, lapses in attention. Typically adolescent, we assured ourselves even as we did reprimand and do the necessary pulling back.

          We failed to go into battle. Because I came from endless chaos in my growing up years, I wasn’t about to overreact and resurrect that same tumult now. That was my priority. Not God. And that was where we tripped. Satan had come in some distance before the poor exam scores led to some soul-searching.

          It was then that we realized we had left one of the gates wide open…..

          We will not go meekly. Every child given is to be returned in holiness to God some day. We must go to battle against this darkness as it seeks our children to build its own dark army. We needn’t fear bereftness. Through humility, obedience and the Holy Rosary, we have the power of an army beyond compare.

          Any gardener with a heart and will, will fight to save his flowers from weeds. 

          Even more so, parents. For what we have is far, far more precious.

Lent 22 ~ Chime of the Annunciation

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          I wasn’t sure of the date today, so I checked, and saw that it was March 25.

          And it tugged on my heart.

          I ran the date through my head to see if it was a birthday or a deadline I had forgotten, but there didn’t seem to be anything.

          I continued my work. And the date continued to chime quietly and gently, like the tiniest of bells. Little baby-tugs on my heart. About two hours later, it had gone on long enough that I could no longer ignore it, so I looked up the date to see if there was a church feast of some significance.

          March 25 2017 was the Feast of the Annunciation. It hit me like a slap of water.

          In July last year, we were to travel back to my husband’s hometown, to visit a grave. We always take flowers when we go, but that day, it was special, and I wanted roses, and the best of them too. In my heart, I envisioned pink roses; I yearned for the beautiful Guadalupe Roses. They do not grow here, but I prayed we’d find something close enough.

          However, during my Morning Holy Hour that blue~gold July day, I received three tugs in a single, different direction.

          The first came through a painting I had never before seen – of a young girl pinning a rose to a statue of Mother Mary.

          And the second tug was by St Padre Pio. I cannot remember how it came about, but it was willed by God that morning,  that I should find a link to a website that was all about St. Pio and the Rosary.

          Finally, as we were leaving the house to begin our long journey, I casually looked around the tangle that is our garden, and amongst the busyness there, a lone flower caught my hurrying gaze.

          A tiny, tiny pink tea~rose.

          As we travelled, my thoughts inevitably went back to my hope that we’d find roses.

          In a quiet light burst, I recalled the events of the morning – the picture, the words and the baby bloom of rose. And immediately, I knew.

          I had wanted roses for this beloved one gone Home.

          But instead, Beloved wanted Roses for our MotherThe most beautiful of Guadalupe roses – the Rosary.

          I yielded to the gentle but insistent request.

          It being a Monday, I began to recite the Joyful Mysteries. The 1st Mystery, the Annunciation, went fine, and I proceeded to the 2nd. But from a sharp and sure determination to recite the Rosary, I suddenly began to struggle with the 2nd decade of the Rosary. The words kept evaporating, I kept forgetting them.

          Over and over and over, I went back to the 2nd, then to the 3rd decades of the Rosary. 

          Over and over, each time, the Rosary header for each decade dissipated. I would begin to recite the Mystery for the decade, and I would be transported right back to the first mystery.

          The Annunciation.

          Soon, I began to feel drowsy. It was warm day, and one of beauty. Blue mists still hid and peeked out from amongst branches and grass dancing in the merry~yellow of the morning sunshine. The perky joy of the day drizzled its blessings into my spirit.

          Lulled into a deep peace, as I savoured the gold of that beautiful day, my thoughts drowsily went back to my struggle with the Rosary. My recitation kept going back to the Annunciation.

          Why did I keep returning to that? Was something holding me back? What was it about the Annunciation?

          And at that moment, I heard a clear, female voice write these words on my heart ~

The event of the Warning will begin with the Annunciation

          That was last year. I had forgotten all that. But the memory returned today, in the earliest hours of the 25th, the Feast of the Annunciation, 2017. Despite the initial shock of remembering, there is no fear, no worry whatever may come. That day last year, I was not told the year to look out for.

          But I now know it is this year, 2017. Because the Rose~bell chimed just after midnight of the old day.

          To remind me of the great day when the Archangel Gabriel announced the coming of a Miracle to change the tide of the times.

Lent 8 ~ Seeking Power

          Today, I was forced to face someone who had physically hurt one of my children last year. I was speaking to a friend when this man rudely butted into our conversation, to ask my friend something. He left shortly after.

          And I was left to choose whether to flee to the mountains of prayer, or to remain on the plains of anger and dislike.

         Oh, I chose the mountains, alright, but I also spent the rest of the day’s hours in a mildly unpleasant catapult-cycle, going back and forth from the mountains to the plains.

          The anger wasn’t as potent as before – when he had hurt my child – I have the Hail Mary prayer to thank for that. Nevertheless, the anger was there, like a dark shadow by the sidelines, waiting for the right moment to uncoil its tentacles into me. The moment that man showed his disdain for me through his rudeness and arrogance, I knew what was coming for me.

          It was a pot-on-a-fire situation I wanted to avoid at all costs.

          I could not escape entirely. In any hurt, my tendency to seek the blackfires of anger and vengeance is my thorn in the flesh. It is a constant battle I am seldom free from. Today was no different.

          And yet, different it was.

          In many unguarded moments today, when I allowed the fiery darts to penetrate my spirit, they felt like they were falling onto wet moss. They couldn’t light the fires they usually do. Still, I would give anything to have an impenetrable shield. To not ever be troubled by these poisoned nibs fashioned out of my own weaknesses.

          But till that day of glory comes, I will struggle on. I am not alone, though. I have the Army of the Rosary behind me and before me. It is up to me to seek its power.

          And seek it I must. On bended knee, with contrite spirit and steadfast heart.

Lent 7 ~ An Army Beyond Compare

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          I am aware of a deep serenity in the winds that keep vigil amongst the greens of boughs and grasses lush. Even in its gentle dance in the sweetnotes of a pink sky leaning to its night rest, I sense a reverent hush.

          It is more than the peace of an old day lived well. This softened windcalls is a sign Someone is near.

          My spirit is stirred and I look towards heaven.

          Within minutes, through the press of spirit by the words, rock and pines, I come across an old story:

In 1454 in Portugal, a devout, dying woman named Sister Filipina revealed: “A statue of the Most Holy Virgin will speak about very grave future events, for Satan will wage a terrible war. But he will lose because the Most Holy Virgin Mother of God and of the Most Holy Rosary of Fatima, more terrible than an army in battle array, will defeat him forever.”

          The Most Holy Virgin Mother of God and of the Most Holy Rosary of Fatima. Mother of God. Mother of the Rosary. More terrible than an army in battle array.

          My eyes turn to the sunset skies again, seeking the last ribbons of pink and tangerine. Instead, I am surprised to see none of those colours. Not a trace.

          In its place is a vivid blue.

          It is Mother Mary’s colour. It is Her sign to me that I must go heart and soul to the Rosary. Something lies beyond the rest of day. A cold that will touch every living soul, at different times, in different ways. Knowing we would feel powerless before it, the Queen of Heaven bids us to seek grace supreme. Grace wrought by the Rosary. Humble prayers on little beads.

          Seek grace. I recall the words written on my heart days back:

Pray to seek

          Seek grace through the Rosary ~ an army beyond compare.

 

ATONE

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          Wild gales marked the opening of 2017 for me. Almost every day has been a whirlwind of duties and tasks and meetings and deadlines and I’ve been skidding from one port of call to another. There have been pockets and deeps of happy days. Days when blue~gold morning winds played elfin tunes as they darted between tree arms and fingers green. Even the sudden showers we’ve had were lovely, the darkening of skies bringing a delicious quietening within my heart.

          But the pace has been wild, and its first victim – prayer life.

          Specifically – our night time family Rosary.

          This year alone, I’ve missed more Rosaries than I ever have since we began it in earnest in 2012. No amount of resolutions and adjusting of timing helped. If we made it one day, we missed the next two. It gnawed at me, for I knew just where we were headed with this – right back to before 2012 – when missed days led to missed weeks and then, months marked by endless tearing and scratching of spirit. That was one rutted path I did not ever want to go down again. I needed climb back up the wagon, and get on with it.

          But I couldn’t. I just couldn’t.

           Trapped by an odd malaise, I felt caught in a vice of tiredness, frenzy and muddled thinking. My will abandoned me. Something needed to be done to arrest the slip, but I felt like I had been rendered…. stupid.

          One night, after we did manage the Rosary, yet without the conviction that we were back on track, the days’ stress having curdled my spirit, I decided to sink my heart into some much needed spiritual dew. Opening my precious Christmas gift from a more precious friend, the book – Left To Tell – by Rwandan genocide survivor, Immaculée Ilibagiza, I returned to where I had left off from a previous reading. It was when the machete-armed Hutus were descending upon Immaculée’s helpless and defenseless family and thousands of other hunted Tutsis like them, with the sole intent to slaughter and massacre them all. All escape avenues cut off, no weapons except some spears and stones against the enemies’ machetes, guns and grenades,  Immaculée’s father, Leonard, rallied his fellow Tutsis:

“Let us use the time we have to repent.”

          It was past midnight, and finding that I could not read on anymore, I called it a night. But before I went to bed, I reached for my alarm clock, and did the unthinkable (by my pathetic standards of willpower) – I set it back to 4:40 a.m., from my usual 5 a.m. wake up time. Already sleep deprived, it sure wasn’t something I had planned; something just took over me.

          By 5 the next morning, I was ready for my Holy Hour, and Left To Tell was far from my mind. I didn’t feel like my usual prayers, though. It might have been tiredness. I wanted to pray something different. Then, I had the sudden thought to pray the Rosary. Not as a replacement for our nightly family one, but an extra one, an addition to the night’s one. Just me and my beads. I thought I’d use it to ask for forgiveness for all the times I had missed. About to recite the first Mystery, I felt someone whisper in my heart,

Atonement Rosary

          I went still for a moment. My mind returned to a night last year, when I had been in the car, waiting for my husband as he ran an errand. I had felt the sudden urge to pray to St Faustina Kowalska, the Divine Mercy mystic, to ask her to come to me, to journey with me. And the very second I did, I felt her presence close to me.

          My soul was then filled with a strange sadness, but it was not mine. I somehow knew immediately that it was St. Faustina’s sadness, and asked for its reason, but she chose not to answer my question. About to revisit my own considerable list of sins to find the culprit, St Faustina stepped in and stopped my thoughts with the knife-slice of a single word:

ATONE

The word left me with a cold that reached to the pit of my stomach.

          I knew now that I could not in any way lay claim to the urge to say the Atonement Rosary. It was not from me. It was not a mere whim. I was led to it by unseen hands. Why, I briefly wondered. It should have been obvious, but I never seem to learn. The answer came before the next breath. Immaculée’s father’s words in Left To Tell came back to me:

 “Let us use the time we have to repent.”

          Use the time we have. Repent. Atone. The Divine Mercy call. The call many heard last year. The call we might have forgotten with the closing of the Year of Mercy, and with the Christmas rush. The call renewed in some hearts yet again this year, with a deeper, more powerful urgency.

          In the time we have left,

Atone.

 

 

 

 

 

Wounds for the King

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          The day gently rises from its slumber. I stand at my window and search for the sun – pale and unwilling to pierce the heavy white cloud curtain. The droop of spirit is everywhere in the trees and flowers. It shouldn’t have been so, not after the invigorating rains, but it is. I will the sullen beauty of morning mists and listless breezes to fall into my heart and stir it to thanksgiving. 

          I refuse to fall into the greys.

          For I have much to be thankful for in a world clawing for life as crack after crack, snakes across the ground.

          There is a wave rolling across seas and lands, effecting a change of guard – some expected, others – not quite. One nation after another is facing sudden changes and upheavals. The foam of a sea in turmoil is flowing into lives, reaching one doorstep bringing tumult, going over another bringing jubilance and relief.

          More and more, to go to bed tonight is to awaken to a surprise the next day. Or shock.

          The ground is shaking and cracking.

          The winds have been hammering a restless beat against my spirit from yesterday. Moaning against the walls of my heart, asking for what I do not have. I step back and study the winds. They come from homes I do not know. They swirl a plea against my heart.

          I struggle to understand. I pray. But the prayers seemingly fall back. 

         Today, I awaken once more to the somberness of a day unsure of its call. Recalling problems I’ve heard and read about, I feel silent voices pleadingly pull at my spirit. I want to tell them the skies will blue again, and the winds will sing gold notes through happy green boughs once more some day. But, who am I comforting? Them or me? 

          There is a message on my phone. Grandparents reveling in the joy of their only grandchild. For a moment, I forget the lows of life and partake of that primeval joy of yet another Yes! to life.

          And suddenly, suddenly, a shaft of light falls into my spirit! The light tumbles into burrows and tickles joy into hollows. Strength surges through me, but I immediately know it is for others.

          Gripping my Rosary, I pray in imperfect hope, seeking the words for others,

Jesus, give me my prayer.

          For long minutes, nothing stirs. I call for Padre Pio. I call for St Jude. I call for the angels.

          Then, in the quiet still of a demure morning, I sense a stirring. One by one, in a slow, sad procession – face after face of every prayer need in recent days silently files past my consciousness. Pleas of those I know and do not know, the woe~wreaths of strangers and friends alike.

          Is this to be my prayer today? I wonder, This naming of wounds? And what comes after?

          I listen again for my prayer but none comes.

          So, I return to the pleas before me. Families breaking up. Marriages ending. Dwindling bank accounts. Work struggles. Hunger. Homelessness. Suicides. Loss of children.

          The sorrows of a hundred stories, of lives lived in the turmoil of uncertainty and loss of the familiar.

          I look at each pain, touching each sorrow, gleaned from blogs and forums and life. I cannot take it away. Today, to even point to future joys might cause a worse wounding. Nevertheless, it is imperative that each soul knows they are loved, that they are not alone in their suffering. I want to love them in the same way I have been loved countless times, by nameless angels, in secret hearts.

Jesus, King of Kings, receive my prayer.

          The prayer is like a light out of nowhere.

          It falls deep into my heart and my spirit springs to life. In a lightburst, I understand. On the beads of the Rosary, every grief touched with the heart, is a wound placed into the hands of the King. And this is what He asks of me today – to bring the wounds to Him. No mountain to scale, no valley to plumb; only compassion to seek the lost and the broken, to be brought Home to Love.

          I do not have what the wounded need, I never will.

          But Jesus does, and always will.

         

 

Tumbling Rosebuds

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          It’s one of those days here, when the sun hides like a sulking child behind clouds so low, the sky has all but disappeared. I’ve never liked such days, when the sun, and even the winds seem to scowl, dripping its discontent into my heart. It’s a day when I cannot feel the prayers I say. Every word out of me seems empty, withered and forced. I struggle to concentrate to mean the words.

          I’m tempted to cope with the dry rustling within by breaking from prayer, when I remember the Los Lobos’ song, How Far Is Heaven?, gifted to me by a commenter close to my heart. Thinking of the lyrics, I fleetingly sense spirits I cannot see, in pain, and asking for comfort.

          In a pearl drop moment, I decide to leave the day to work out its mood for I have work to do. I bring forth a soft, old rose I love but keep hidden within me, and hold it before God. I shakily thank Him for the rose and its wounding thorns. I don’t know why I do this, just that the time for it has come.

          Then, I ask my God what He wills of me.

          In a silver whisper comes Heaven’s answer, r5  Tumble rosebuds.

          And so I begin. Through the dry weave of daily mundanes. Not an offering of an entire Rose~wreath, but tumbling a rosebud of a Hail Mary, into every tear the angels bring.

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An Asking of Roses

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          I was preparing to go to a shrine early in the morning of the 18th of July, when this picture came to me. It caught my heart, this little girl, so many other things to go to like others her age, but there she was, at a little shrine, intent on giving her Mother a rose. Nothing else mattered to the young one. No storm, no gaiety could force her gaze and spirit away from this sacred deed.

          Yet, my mind remained on the rose the girl in the painting was trying to thread through the statue. I planned to place flowers at the shrine I was going to. I hoped there would be a good choice of blooms because I wanted nothing but the best.

          I thought pink roses would be beautiful.

          About to hurry on to something else, St. Pio quietly came, showed me the Rosary and whispered his old words to my heart, I always pray the Rosary.

          There were to be no rose blooms for my Mother that day. We searched the whole town, only to come up empty. It wasn’t until the journey began that the angels knit together the pearls. Just like the young lass in the painting had given Her, my Mother was asking for a Rose from me too. A rose from my heart.

          And so, I said a Rosary. Rose after rose wreathed through every bend of road framed by wild trees and a morning sky of blues and sun-tinged mists. It was my first with no intentions or petitions attached. Every Hail Mary was my rosebud for the only Mother I ever had.

          Maybe some day, I thought, I would understand why She asked for roses on this day of a thousand memories, when giving is never easy because the heart is empty yet longing.

          Then, a little orange light gently bloomed. It was the saint of the shrine I was going to, who asked for the Rosary. I had wanted to place the best roses at his rest, and he wanted them as much as I wanted to give, except that for him, the very best of roses could only be the Rosary for his Rose of Carmel.