Friday, September 7, 2012

Mother Knows Best

A very exciting thing happened this summer.  And I promise, it's true.

One day in July I woke up and it was weighing on my heart to say a Rosary.  Now, as a Catholic, I wish I could say that I say a Rosary a day (okay, a week), but I really don't.  Our family got to saying it on Sundays during Lent, and I really enjoy it, but things always seem to get in the way. 

A little background:  A Rosary is immensely comforting.  Basically, you say an Our Father, followed by ten Hail Marys.  You do this five times (each one is called a decade).  If you focus in, you can lose yourself in prayer.  To be very simplistic, Mary the Mother of Jesus has appeared numerous times in visions calling on people to say Rosaries and promising responses to those who do (e.g., to the children of Fatima).

So,  for some reason in July I had the urge to say a Rosary. Now, we were in the middle of a big move so I brushed the thought aside.  Too busy, right? 

The next day my mother-in-law asked me for a favor.  A good friend of theirs had a 42 year-old son, a great dad of three kids.  He was involved in a terrible car accident and was deep in a coma.  He was not expected to wake up for weeks or possibly months.  This had happened about a week ago, and so my mother-in-law, upon finding out, asked me to say a prayer for him.

It struck me that maybe that's why I was supposed to say a Rosary.  I mean, you could say it was a coincidence, but I'll tell you I have never before felt such an urge to pray out of the blue like that.  So, that evening, I looked on his Caring Bridge page and saw that something like 850 people were praying for him, and that he was still in the coma. 

I pulled out my Rosary beads and for the next 20 minutes, counted on my beads and said my prayers.  It's not hocus-pocus:  I concentrated on the prayers at hand and thought with compassion about the father of three lying in a coma.  And that was it.

I'm sure you can guess what happened.  It is exactly true:  the very next day the man woke up out of his coma.  His doctors literally said it was a miracle.  He is on his way to recovery.  I tell this only to show the power of prayer, the power of listening to that voice calling you to prayer.  Do I really believe that five Our Fathers and fifty Hail Marys performed a miracle?  You bet I do.

It is worth noting that Mary, Jesus' mother, does not actually talk very much in the bible.  In fact, the last words she is quoted as saying are directed to the servants at the wedding at Cana.  "Do whatever He tells you," she instructs.

Five simple words.  If only we could follow them always. 

Prayer is the rope that pulls God and man together. 
But, it doesn't pull God down to us; it pulls us up to Him. 
-- Billy Graham