Thursday, October 18, 2012

A Lesson From Our Lady of the Holy Rosary

On the Feast of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary we had a special afternoon planned to honor Our Lady.  The afternoon was to begin with a procession led by the Knights of Columbus and children all carrying rosaries and white roses to place before Our Lady.  One of the smallest children was then to crown Our Lady with a real rose crown. The children's rosary was then to lead those gathered in the rosary followed by the Litany, consecration prayers to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary.  This was then going to be followed by a talk by Linda Santo, the mother of little Audrey Santo currently being considered for beatification by the Catholic Church.  Many wonderful people had offered to help with greeting and baking for the reception that was to follow downstairs.

The morning of the Feast two of my children and I were at the Church well early cutting roses and beginning to set up.  Time seemed to fly by and without realizing it we were just 10 minutes before our start time of 1PM.  People were arriving and children were gathering in the back.  All of a sudden there seemed like there were so many different pieces to bring together.  Our previous pastor was arriving and wondering where he should be located.  The musician was arriving and I felt I should check in with him.  The families were wondering how the procession would be arranged.  I then had this momentary feeling that I was not qualified to be organizing this event at all.  I had left too much to the end and there wasn't enough time to answer all the questions.  There was one more concern looming our Speaker Linda Santo had not arrived.  Her absence was a wonderful reprieve for a few minutes as I had a reason to delay the procession and help everyone that had questions.  At 1:15 Linda was still not there and we jointly decided to begin the procession.  As the children were almost to the end of the aisle I realized that I still had the rose crown in the plastic at the back of the church.  I picked up the crown and asked Arlene who was helping with greeting to open the plastic as I have many problems with my hands.  With my heart almost jumping out of my chest I quickly made my way down the aisle trying to catch up to the children.  I had not intended to be part of the procession and definitely did not want to be the one to carry the crown.  Thankfully the children were still all gathered around Mary when I found little Angie and asked her to crown Our Lady.  The children then began the rosary.  As I sat off to the side on the altar helping the children many thoughts went through my mind.  Linda was still not there and it occurred to me that maybe she had gone to St. Thomas Seminary in West Hartford instead of St. Thomas Church.  Her absence brought a focus to my prayers.  A thought entered my head that if Linda were not to come at all no one would ever believe me if I tried to plan something in the future.  It was at that moment that I prayed with all my heart to Our Lady.  I told her this is your Children's Rosary I give everything to you.  I trust in you Mary and I trust in you Jesus.  Whatever the outcome I trust in You.  There was a realization that I could do no more.  I was not in control of this event.  I never was in control of the event but the reality of it was crystal clear.  Scott approached me and asked if I had Linda's cell phone number as he would call her.  I did not have her number but looked at Scott with peace in my heart.  It was not in my hands and all I could do was pray the rosary with all my heart.

We were just getting ready to begin the last decade and it was around 1:35 when I looked up and the back doors of the Church swung open.  A women entered with the sun streaming in behind her.  As she walked forward I could see her face.. it was Linda.  At seeing her I jumped up and raised one arm in the air to gesture to her.  Linda was here.  Our Lady, had safely brought her in time.  The rest of the afternoon would fall together piece by piece.  Speaking with those in attendance at the reception no one had noticed all these bumps along the way.  Instead they had bright eyes full of hope and joy.  The quote spoken at Mass that week echoed in my mind.  "Fear is useless what is needed is faith" (Mark 5:26).  Our Lady of the Rosary had shown me that we have nothing to fear when we consecrate ourselves to her Immaculate Heart and the Sacred Heart of her Son.  If we take refuge under her protection through a devotion to her Holy Rosary she will provide.  She will bring all the pieces together.  There was a feeling that Our Lady desired there to be nothing standing between us.  She wanted all false securities in ourselves washed away and a strengthening of Trust in her and her Son.

This lesson seemed so well timed as we were just days away from the beginning of the Year of Faith.  Our Lady and her Son have repeatedly told us to come to them as children.  To trust as a small child does in their parent.  On Our Lady's Feast of the Holy Rosary we were not only led by the prayers of children but Our Lady showed us we must always have the Faith of a small child.

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