The Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary has been a very special day for me for years now. And yesterday was another special day to add to the list. A very intense day of prayer and witnessing. I felt so blessed to have been taking part in the vigil outside one of our local abortion clinics. (We have two, that I know of.) My prayer life has been needing a jump start and that’s just what it got, lemme tell ya! Thank you, Blessed Mother, I needed that! I don’t think I’ve ever prayed so many Rosaries and Chaplets in a day in my whole life! I feel like I’ve been on retreat, and in some very intense spiritual combat (inner and outer, more about that another time). The whole vigil experience has been like that, but yesterday was especially powerful.
Yesterday I met a lady who recently wrote a song about mercy. I asked her when I’d get to hear it, and she surprised me by singing it for me—after we moved away from the group. I sincerely hope she’ll conquer her shyness and record her song and let other people hear it soon. (I’d love to sing her song with her, I liked it that much!) She hadn’t heard of the Divine Mercy devotion until I showed her the image on a laminated card I was using as I prayed the Chaplet. She liked it so I gave it to her, so now another person has discovered the beauty of that simple devotion.
I’ve been discerning whether or not I want to (or whether the Lord wants me to) seek admission to the Missionaries of the Gospel of Life Lay Associates for many months now. I’ve been praying about it, asking for guidance in discerning God’s will for me. I’ve been praying during the Mass for the Lord to show me what He wants me to do, and yesterday I also asked the Blessed Mother to send me some help. Basically, my prayer was, Help! After Mass and a quick lunch I drove over to the vigil site and who is the first person I run into there but a member of that very group, the MGL Lay Associates. We talked about it for a while. I’m still discerning but I feel even more drawn to it now.
I also met someone who used to go to the same Methodist church I grew up in! And now she’s married to the son of someone I knew in connection with my old (and all-time favorite) job a few years ago. (Small world!) And her grandfather was my Sunday School teacher, who made a deep and lasting impression on me. Meeting her down there and discovering that we’ve both ended up in the Catholic Church—and both totally love being Catholic—was another unexpected surprise.
By six o’clock my feet and legs were tired, my throat was hoarse, I was hungry, covered with mosquito bites. And so happy I thought I’d burst. These were tiny sufferings to offer to the Lord to be united with the suffering of Christ, but He graciously accepted them. Then during the last hour He granted me yet another marvelous consolation to add to all the others. Seems that some gentlemen had been at their regular Cursillo meeting and decided to do something different. They decided to come down to the vigil to pray for an hour. Standing on the sidewalk as the sun sank behind the urban skyline, praying the Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary together with my new friends, and hearing all those deep male voices, sent chills down my spine. That may rank up there as one of the most extraordinary prayer experiences I’ve ever had. All along the drive home, all I could say was, Wow, Wow, over and over again. Wow!
Well, I asked the Blessed Mother to help me, to teach me to pray, to help me learn to be a true disciple and not just somebody who talks about and writes about being a disciple, but really walks the path of discipleship, walks the way of the cross, in the steps of my Savior. And she is showing me, little by little, how to learn to imitate her Son. My Mother and your Mother wants nothing more than to show us the way to be conformed more and more to the image of Christ, the image she reflects so well, the image she carries always in her heart. May we all learn the lesson of her constant message: Do whatever He tells you. May we be as faithful and as trusting as the Blessed Virgin was then and is now.
Peace be with you. Now and always.
Disciple (in training).