Friday, August 8, 2014

Just When You Were Thinking to Give Up

As many of you may have read,  several years ago the children planted a Peace Rose as a gift to Our Lady on the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima.  We asked Our Lord as a gift to His Mother that with every pedal that forms on the bush that 1,000 families would return to family prayer.  Renewal of family prayer has been a particularly special prayer intention of the Children's Rosary.  The Rose the first summer surprised us by blooming on many beautiful Marian Feasts.  Last summer there was construction at our Church and a bulldozer was brought in which ran over the rose bed.  At first we thought all the roses were destroyed but a week later Our Lady's rose along with the other roses in the bed were found in buckets on the side of the Rectory.  They stayed in the buckets for several months and then were replanted in the garden maintained by the Knights of Columbus.  Mary's rose bush didn't seem to make the transplantation process very well and looked like it might be dying.  Through the long cold winter I wondered how the Rose was doing and when spring came all the other bushes began growing and bloomed though June.  The bush the children planted remained a small stump about 2 inches tall.  The Knights are so good about caring for the rose bed I thought for sure the rose stump would be removed at any time.  Yet the stump remained through July. Each day as I passed the stump on my walk to daily Mass I wondered if there was some reason this died, a meaning perhaps. As was read in the Gospel today,  "Anyone who loses his life for my sake will find it" (Matthew 16:25).  

It was still sad though that the children's Rose planted for Our Lady was dead.  Last Sunday morning we arrived from Chicago at 1AM and the children, my husband and I went right to sleep.  Then bright and early that morning a call came.  It was a member of the Children's Rosary calling to say something wonderful had happened.  There was a brand new shoot coming out of the ground by the Rose stump.  The rose thought to be dead might actually be alive.  The children and I were excited as we walked to Church that morning anxious to see if indeed the rose was alive.  As we bent over to look we could see two shoots.  The smaller of the two actually seemed to be pushing the ground up.  We came prepared with a camera to document such a happy find.  

I began to think of a homily I had recently heard about Saint Faustina who during her life had a vision of St. Therese.  She asked the Saint if she herself would also become a saint to which St. Therese told her, yes.  She asked if she would be raised up in the Church and St. Therese told her yes.  But St. Therese also told Sr. Faustina to have more faith. It occured to me that all those months through the spring and summer I had thought the rose was dead and nothing was happening.  It reminded me of the effort so many make to run their Children's Rosary groups.  Sometimes it is hard to gather children and there is a feeling nothing is happening.  One feels that they should give up.  But Our Lord shows us even when something looks dead there are things happening out of view.  Change is occuring,  a renewal in fact.  

In looking at the other roses which dwarf this little stump with a few tender young shoots,  one can see how such a little bush might seem insignificant but what is remarkable is that Our Lord often chooses the small and wounded to work great change.  This is so beautifully evident with  St. Therese who is the patron Saint of missionaries even though she lived in a convent.  In our efforts to bring the smallest among us, our very children, to the Rosary the Lord blesses these efforts even if by worldly standards nothing appears to be happening.  Through this beautiful story of the little rose, may we all hold on and not give up.

Other Posts you may enjoy: 
The Children Plant a Rose for Our Lady

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