It’s About To Get Real
We now interrupt our regularly scheduled programming to bring you this important announcement.
This isn’t a total deviation. In fact, October has been named the month of the Rosary, and it happens that we will commemorate the 100th Anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima. I’ll write about this instead of the Mystery of the Presentation, which is next in line for my series on the Rosary.
Whether we know about it or not, Our Blessed Mother plays a major role in determining our lives in Christ. It is her humility and obedience to God’s holy will that preceded Jesus. She pointed the way to Jesus. Because Jesus paid the ultimate price, gaining our salvation by the crucifixion, it would be easy to not take notice of Mary. She is not divine as her Son. That being said, in not knowing Mary, we don’t know what we’re missing. When we learn more about her and take her as our mother, as God allowed from the cross, we find that a devotion to Mary enriches and enhances our relationship with Jesus. God always allows us to choose.
We can ignore her and just suppose she was just a warm body picked by the Holy Spirit to be the New Ark of the Covenant, the New Eve, the Lord’s tabernacle, etc. etc. But why would just any old warm body do?
Instead of delving into the next mystery of the Rosary, I’ll touch upon the relevance of Fatima for today, 100 years after the apparitions to the three peasant children, Francisco, Jacinta, and Lucia in Portugal.
Mary warned the children. She asked them to tell people to pray the rosary. She warned if people didn’t repent and turn back to God, a worse war was coming. And it did. WWII. She predicted that Russia would spread her errors throughout the world. This is mind blowing to me. There are so many layers to this event that Father Andrew Apostoli writes in his book, Fatima For Today. I suggest this reading for every Catholic. The two things above are the great takeaways I remember often. The other is that Our Lady revealed to Lucia that there isn’t one problem that the Rosary can’t solve. I’m counting on this. The reason is that I have an autistic son who is 27 and suffers from depression. It is a heavy cross that seems to have no end in sight.
I was invited to be a Rosary Rally Leader by the organization, Tradition Family and Property, http://www.tfp.org/ to commemorate the Fatima 100th Anniversary.
At the time, in August, we were in the final weeks of hospice care for my mother in law. It was a lot to process. She died on August 29, on the Feast of the Passion of St. John the Baptist. We were preparing for her funeral in two weeks. I gave myself that time to pray and think about hosting the Rosary rally.
We live on the buckle of the Bible belt. The mountains of North Carolina are full of Southern Baptists and their derivatives of churches. These folks are suspicious of Catholics. They think Catholics worship Mary. They think a lot of things that are based on misconception and heresay, because they’ve never attended a Catholic Mass. They don’t know that this is where they will find Jesus.
So here I am, an outsider, a Catholic, a zealot for the faith, wanting to hold a public Rosary prayer rally. Perfect.
We thought about having it in front of our church. That wouldn’t rock Peter’s boat. We thought about having it in front of my husband’s warehouse. Certainly people would drive by and notice the Fatima banner and a bunch of somber Catholics toting rosary beads, thumbing them in hummed and hushed tones.
The reason that the prayer rally is public is significant in itself. So many grave sins are diminished and accepted as normal. They have become public sins, for everyone to see. A public Rosary rally is for reparation for damage of public sin.
One day I was praying the Transfiguration during the Luminous Mysteries of the rosary. I’d been ruminating on the impact of a Rosary rally. I wondered if many people would come or if it would just be a handful, including my husband and me. I wondered if any would drive by and take notice. While I contemplated the Transfiguration, I was struck by the fact that only Peter, James and John were there to witness Jesus’ Transfiguration. Oh yeah, Elijah and Moses too, but they were already in eternity. It was only a select few, and we all know about it today!
Then I thought, it’s like a prayer closet, really. We retreat into our private sanctuaries to pray for others, make sacrifices, and worship our God. What we do in secret and obscurity, God rewards us openly, right? It’s not what’s seen by man that matters. It’s what is visible to God that counts. Who knows the spiritual benefits our families and communities will enjoy by this humble meeting of a faithful few?! I then thought about the apparition of Our Lady of Knock, Ireland, where only fifteen spectators gathered in the pouring rain.
This past week, one of the lectionary readings was about the women who followed Jesus. Joanna, Susanna, and Mary Magdalene, were three among many. It was considered scandalous to be a woman and leave house and home to follow a man claiming to be the Son of God. These were brave women. BTW, my Mom’s name is Joanne. Mine is Susan. I felt an additional stir of enthusiasm to take a risk of rallying for the Rosary. I would take a tomato in the face, and a question from a doubtful Protestant, if that’s what it takes to draw souls to Jesus. If that’s what it takes to save a few from addiction in this county, where we have a terrible problem with heroin and opioids. If that’s what it takes to begin a discussion among the separated brethren in the Body of Christ. For then maybe more souls will be gained, and the prophecy will be filled. “They will know we are Christians by our love, by our love for one another.”
I secured a tentative place (a contradiction, I know) for October 14th at noon for the Rosary Rally. It is the Town Square. This is right in the middle of little ole’ Hayesville, NC, the county seat of consisting of 10,000 part and full time residents, give or take.
The rub here is that October 14th is the rain date for another community event called, Steins and Wine. It’s a name for an October Fest. Please pray that it doesn’t rain on October 7th, the event for Steins and Wine. If it does, then we’ll move our gathering to the Cactus Game Design building, a mile from the Square, just outside of Hayesville city limits.
Here is what I’m picturing: A small number of us, standing with our umbrellas in a downpour, praying the Rosary, on behalf of ourselves, our families, our community, our nation, our world. Is that an imaginary vision that will come to pass? I don’t know.
We’ll pray and see what happens. In the meantime, please mention a Hail Mary for us. And if you could throw in an Our Father and a St. Michael prayer for spiritual warfare, that would be awesome.
Glory to God in the Highest, and peace to His people on earth!
Copyright 2017 Susan L. Anderson