Last night a group of friends came over and shook up my world, my comfort zone, and I am still overwhelmed!
I should start at the beginning. A family friend wanted to see us, someone whom I have known since… Heck, when Seton had the old building and Mr. Scheetz built the ramp for Joey! I’m speaking about Mr. Grimberg, who has been in my life in various roles since I was ten. Parent’s friend, the family my sister Theresa babysat for, male youth organizer to keep us out of trouble, coach, Boss, and friend. What a long history and a happy friendship I am blessed with! He had something to give us, and we were set for Tuesday night.
The second point I have to explain first is what Mrs. Gasper asked me to write about, what is my favorite prayer. Well, I will tell you!
It’s the Rosary. If you don’t know what the rosary is, it’s a series of prayers strung together to ask Mary’s intercession and praise Jesus, using words from the Gospels. The prayers are centered around meditation of various parts of the life of Jesus Christ. Like, Christmas, Easter, the Passion, His public ministry, all of which come from the Gospels and Revelation. I could be wrong on that last one. Anyway, the Rosary was given to St Dominic in the 1200s as a way to help people learn the Gospel, an aid to preaching in that every Hail Mary can be accompanied with a scripture passage that covers the life of Jesus or an explanation of it. I didn’t like saying the rosary earlier in life, as I told a seminarian friend, but had a change of heart. I learned more about it and even joined the Confraternity of the Rosary.
It takes fifteen minutes to say, and it is incredibly simple. So simple, in fact, that misguided boffins who weren’t really in line with the church wanted people to stop saying it in exchange for extemporaneous prayer. Mr. Grimberg shared a personal story about that, but I had heard similar stories from theologian Ted Sri. So there is that.
Mr. Spicer brought back a statue of Our Lady from Fatima from his latest pilgrimage there, and Mr. Grimberg was going to give it to us. Do you know what happened at Fatima? Ok, 1917, in Portugal, Mary appeared to three children and promised a miracle on October 13 of that year. On that day, the Miracle of the Sun happened. Of course, there are skeptics, but they are ignoring facts to just be contrary. But among other things, Mary revealed her name to the children as Our Lady of the Rosary. And she asked everyone to pray the Rosary every day.
So, all that history stuff, last night we gathered a whole bunch of friends and family to pray the Rosary, and we were praying for a miracle for me, brought on by young and insightful Charlotte! I have to say I’m so blessed that my extended family keeps growing and growing with awesome people! And then, the group had the idea to pray a 54 day novena, 27 days in petition, 27 days in thanksgiving. Starting today, praying for a miracle for me. So if you want to join, here’s how to pray the Rosary!
And here is why;
The Most Holy Virgin in these last times in which we live has given a new efficacy to the recitation of the Rosary to such an extent that there is no problem, no matter how difficult it is, whether temporal or above all spiritual, in the personal life of each one of us, of our families… that cannot be solved by the Rosary. There is no problem, I tell you, no matter how difficult it is, that we cannot resolve by the prayer of the Holy Rosary.”
She was one of the children at Fatima, to whom Mary appeared. She also was given a vision of hell, which is terrifying to think about. And the Rosary and this message was what Mr Grimberg brought and shared with us. It was quite beautiful!
So why does this shake up my world and comfort zone? This is all stuff I’m familiar with. Well, Reader-land, the truth is that there are so many who are much more worthy than me. Heck, Joe Grimberg and I were side by side, comparing wheelchairs, and I have only known him in wheelchairs, he’s had muscular dystrophy for so long. I have had ALS for two years and he’s dealt with triple my problems, he’s a more worthy recipient of a miracle! I have so many other people who are more deserving. It’s almost embarrassing because I am just a sinner, I fall often. I postpone saying my rosary for YouTube videos! I forget to say the rosary often! I am a man of little faith!
The other point is a sense of finality that I already have. I am comfortable with thinking about my death. It’s almost a friend, now, and I am awaiting his visit. Maybe this holds my faith back. Maybe I am comfortable with death because I don’t know how to live. I feel afraid to live, to completely be different as God wants me to. A miracle, well that is life-changing. Nothing would be the same, and I would fall harder if I fell after being healed! Shouldn’t I already be living that way? I don’t think I am!
Please join in this novena! And feel free to add your own intentions because God can work on more than one thing at a time!
And thank you to Mr. Grimberg, Mr. Spicer, Joe Grimberg, Joe and Jess and Robert, Rachel, Charlotte, Mary, Tim, Mel, and Our Lady of Fatima!