As a child, lightning and thunder woke me up at night and frightened me. Confidently, I could always count on my mother to tuck me under the wing of her arm. And, within her loving arms she calmed all my fears. I knew immediately that under her protection I was safe which would lead to a most restful peace.
It is in this same way, in our Blessed Mother's arms, that she protects us. Although I know this, I have a tendency to run to Our Lady only when the storms of life are crashing down. Just like our Lord, Mary wants to have regular conversations with us. It is through prayer that conversations, conversions, and peace occur.
Sometimes the storms of life are just what we need to get our attention and change our life's direction. Personally, I felt a nagging but beautiful calling to do 'something more' with my life for God. Outside my work as a corporate performance coach, my wife and I had been marriage preparation facilitators for the archdiocese. So I prayed, "Lord, what more do you want me to do?" After 35 years with the same employer, I received my answer when our department was shut down. Now, I 'really' prayed - that is to say, my faith was shaken. The best advice I received was "trust God." Then I remembered how Jesus performed his first public miracle...just because His mother asked Him to. I thought perhaps our Blessed Mother could intercede for me, too.
One powerful way to communicate with our Lord and our Blessed Mother is through the Most Holy Rosary. And, in 1883, Pope Leo XIII officially dedicated the month of October to the Holy Rosary. In fact, liturgically October 7th is the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. What a perfect time to begin daily recitation of the rosary, meditating on the mysteries, and listening as Our Lady speaks to us in her loving and tender way.
Through prayer, the grace of our Lord, and the goodness of Our Lady, I heard my calling. My wife and I had been preparing couples for marriage, offering the teachings of the Church and the experience of our 35 years of marriage. We shared the joys and struggles of married life, the essential value of frequent participation in the sacraments, the healing blessing of daily praying as a couple, and choosing to love unconditionally to achieve a truly life-long, joy-filled marriage. Today, with a deeper focus, I am blessed with the mission as the new Marriage Ministry Coordinator for the Archdiocese of St. Louis. Working together with other Curia offices at the archdiocese, the Office of Marriage and Family Life will continue to help young couples to understand the joy of Christian dating, the beauty of St. Pope John Paul II's Theology of the Body, and prepare them for the vocation of marriage. We will help provide a solid preparation for the indissoluble bond of the Sacrament of Marriage. And, we will help strengthen married couples. We will continue to develop marriage enrichment opportunities and encourage greater participation with the sacraments and their local parish.
No doubt, Mary answers our prayers. And, this October, dedicated to the Most Holy Rosary, may we begin a practice of praying the rosary daily. Instinctively, we need the faith of a child to remember that our loving Mother Mary is ready and eager to take us under her wing and protect us. Call upon her today.
Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, pray for us!