Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Signal Graces

One of the 12 promises of the Rosary is that one will receive signal graces.  But what is a signal grace?

One thing I have found over the years is that some questions are answered directly from Our Lord.  As a child who knows nothing, his or her parents teach him slowly the truths.  Bit by bit an understanding emerges and it is hard to put a point on the moment that understanding and knowledge began but rather most often it is a slow gentle process.  It is just so in prayer.  Our Heavenly Father with little bread crumbs leads us and shows us little sign posts to show us we are on the right path.  These little sign posts or gifts are the signal graces which Our Lady is speaking of which come with prayer of the Rosary.  Often these little graces are meant especially for you and others will not understand their significance.  Others may be more generally appreciated by many.  May I humbly share a few that come to mind.  One happened just this weekend and touched me so deeply that it inspired this post.
The Children's Rosary at Our Lady of Fatima Parish
 in Timor Leste on Oct 5th 2013
A new Children's Rosary met on on Saturday October 5th in the country of Timor Leste, which is located in South East Asia, at the Parish of Our Lady of Fatima.  The first correspondence from this group leader came months ago shortly before the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima in May.  The group leader Abel asked if we could send him Rosaries and a statue of Our Lady.  It took some time to gather 100 Rosaries many were made by children and all were donations.  The pastor of my parish actually donated one of our statues for this new Rosary group. 

The 100 Rosaries that were sent to Timor Leste
The package was mailed out on the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and quickly made its way to Indonesia where it sat for several months.  A smaller follow-up package with 33 rosaries was sent two months later which made its way there in less than 2 weeks but the original package was still missing.  Many prayers had gone up asking Our Lord to safely deliver Our Lady and the Rosaries but weeks went by with no word.  On September 21st, members of the Children's Rosary made a long journey to the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington DC from Connecticut USA.  A trip which involved leaving the house at 3AM and not returning to the following morning at 3AM.  A grueling day for the children but one done out of love for Our Lady as the children were leading a Children's Rosary for an International Day of Prayer and Fasting.  Just as the children were arriving at Our Lady's Basilica word came that Our Lady had arrived in Timor Leste with her 100 Rosaries.  Our Lady and the children had completed their journey on the same day.  This would be a beautiful signal grace that touched our hearts to their depths.  A gift to the children who had sacrificed out of love.
Our Lady being packaged up for her
Big Trip

The graces would continue.  On Saturday October 5th the Children's Rosary in Timor Leste had their first meeting at 2:30 PM local time in Timor Leste.  As we had several other Children's Rosary groups meeting that day I had not calculated out the exact time of the meeting in Timor Leste but knew it would be in the middle of the night and the children and I would be unable to unify prayers with them due to the time difference.  On Sunday when I awoke I checked the Children's Rosary website that shows the amount of people who have visited the website and the countries they are from.  All of a sudden I noticed a large increase in people on the website during the night.  There was a sharp peak that went up to over 150 people all at once.  The time of the peak was right at 1:30 AM.  I stopped for a moment to think what was going on in the middle of the night to cause this.  

The children carrying Our Lady to the post office

Then I remembered our new Children's Rosary group in Timor Leste at Our Lady of Fatima Parish and calculated out the time difference....there meeting was at 1:30AM our time the exact moment of the peak.  The visitors to the Children's Rosary website were not from Timor Leste but from all over the world.  The group at 1:30 was beginning their first meeting with consecration prayers to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Seeing this peak at the exact moment of consecration left me speechless. This beautiful little signal grace left me in awe and wonder. These children's prayers had moved Heaven to spread the Children's Rosary a bit farther with more people finding our website.  It was a beautiful gift to the children who once again had gathered together out of love for Our Lady and her Son.  

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