Thursday, April 17, 2014

"Lord Almighty, you who examine the righteous and probe the heart and mind"

Dear Friends,

Yesterday concluded our Novena of Masses.  Two Masses said daily for 9 days for the fulfillment of Our Lady’s plans for the Children’s Rosary and then two Masses said daily for 9 days in thanksgiving.  With so many Masses and prayers going up it is truly a blessed way to enter holy week.  This beautiful novena of Masses and prayers happened through the generosity of many people.  May I humbly say, thank you for making such a gift to Our Lady and her Son possible. 

Reflecting over these 18 days it has been an interesting journey.  In the first few days there were a string of signal graces and pieces of good news.  I remember remarking to one member of the Children’s Rosary that everything seemed to get easier.  Impedances removed and the feeling of wonderful grace flowing.  

Something interesting happened after a few days, periods of intense struggle began.  Those who read of the trip to the Divine Mercy Conference have some sense of one particular struggle with a rather long day of travel including a bus ride with little Asher who had a terrible stomach flu. An illness that lasted almost a full week. For my own part there were times of complete physical exhaustion, spiritual questioning and disappointment.  A feeling that certain branches were being deeply pruned.  Last Friday at Mass there was a reading that seemed to speak to these experiences, "Lord Almighty, you who examine the righteous and probe the heart and mind"  (Jeremiah 20:12). Indeed it would seem that the Lord was probing the heart and testing.  With so many Masses going up and our prayers for Our Lady’s Plans to be fulfilled in us there was a green light for Our Lord to set to work and continue to mold us and fashion us according to His Will.  Psalm 23 was a true consolation "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff they comfort me." Yes, indeed despite such trials there is a sense that we are never left alone.  Our Lady in a special way also supporting us and reassuring us. 

I share these inner feelings as I suspect others may have experienced something similar.  Several have written asking for extra prayers due to family struggles and spiritual struggles in their faith.  Please do not think you are being punished.  Our conversion is life long and we may expect such suffering as we follow Our Lord, for He is the most beautiful example of suffering done with love. 

As you might be thinking right now that such a novena of Masses has brought down a great deal of suffering alone, may I share with you some tender stories that warm the heart and assure us that Our Lord cherishes the prayers of these little ones and the Masses we offered to Him.  For the Sacrifice of the Mass was the gift He gave to us out of Love today.

May I share with you that during this novena of Masses many new people reached out and began Children’s Rosary groups.  Two moms contacted us from Michigan.  Each had been meeting for some time praying the Rosary with children.  They wanted to join our prayer movement.  One group meeting weekly on Tuesday evenings at 5PM and the other meeting weekly on Mondays at 4:30 PM.  We also have an existing Children’s Rosary group which meets on Mondays at 4:30 PM in Mahopac, NY which now means there will be two groups able to unify prayers together.  More beautiful ways that Our Lady is helping us to create a web of children’s prayers unified across the world. New groups also began in South Carolina and word that a new group will be meeting the first weekend in May at the Parish of St. Joachim in Madera, California.  In total we now have reached approximately 60 Children’s Rosary for each bead of the Rosary!  A wonderful image to contemplate.  

May I share one more blessed gift.  Several months ago I received a note from a women named Bette whose niece was very sick.  She had a clot in her lung and was early in her pregnancy.   Quickly both mom and baby were put on our intention list that went out to our groups for the children to pray over.  Day by day mom pushed through with her little baby.  Then word came that there were severe developmental problems with the baby detected on ultrasound.  The doctors said the following two weeks would be important in the survival of the baby. Such news was a hard blow for the family.  Yet Bette wrote that in prayer she felt called to ask for the prayers of the Children’s Rosary.  After many rosaries lifting up these intentions word recently came:  A MRI did not show the extreme problems the doctors had thought. Such news was a blessing which one cannot begin to measure.  While Bette is quick to say that both mom and baby still are in constant need of prayers things are looking much brighter.  This family has truly embraced the Children’s Rosary and may I share offered many prayers of thanksgiving and sent several beautiful Mass cards.  One indicated that the Children’s Rosary Apostolate would share in the Masses, prayers and good works of the Servants of Mary including a daily Mass celebrated at St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City.  An other card indicated a Perpetual Mass enrollment in the Golden Heart of Our Mother of Perpetual Help.

As we join Our Lord tonight for His sharing of the Holy Eucharist and then accompany Him to the Garden, there is a feeling that such struggle allows us to have that naked, raw heart that allows us to better understand the suffering Our Lord undertook for us.  

Thank you all for being a part of the Children’s Rosary.  Thank you for your prayers and sacrifices.  Despite our flaws there is a feeling that Our Lord and Our Lady are happy with our efforts.

Your Grateful Friend in Christ,

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