Monday, April 14, 2008

A Gift for Everyone

Yesterday at Mass, the resident priest told a story about our Bishop. He said that whenever anyone told the Bishop that they were open to a religious vocation, whether male or female, the Bishop would pull out a rosary (or have the priest-secretary obtain one) and offer it as a gift. The Bishop would then ask the individual to pray, asking the heavenly Mother for guidance. The Bishop would also add that person's name to a list and include those names in his own daily prayers.

First, let me say that I love Bishop Peter Jugis, and I think he’s an awesome bishop. I was very impressed that he offers rosaries to those who are opening their hearts to God’s will. In my own life, the rosary has been the tiller, the Holy Spirit has been the wind, and our heavenly Mother has been the boat who carries and guides me to the Lord.

When I first realized how much I needed the Lord, I didn’t know (and I’m still learning) how to spend time with Him. My father (may the Lord bless and keep him) had spent years praying the rosary at home with a family who resisted the invitation to join him. Years later, I found this powerful weapon, which helped unite me to the Eucharist, fight sin, and teach me how to love women like a man should.

As a beginner to the rosary, I had found Fr. Peyton’s reflections to be wonderful in their various contemplations of the mysteries. They helped me get past my initial aversion to the “monotony” of the beads; the reflections, pulled from Scripture, also helped me to remain faithful to the devotion. As I grew in understanding and in God, I purchased Fr. Peyton's Rosary Prayer Book, which allowed me to read them without having to go online. After five years, my superficial dislike of constant repetition has been replaced with an intentional longing to hold onto the words of each prayer. After five years, I finally feel peaceful in the arms of my mother, the Church.

In his encyclical Rosarium Virginis Mariae, which is often quoted, JPII delivers a beautiful teaching on the rosary and provides a better explanation of what I’m trying to say:
"In this process of being conformed to Christ in the Rosary, we entrust ourselves in a special way to the maternal care of the Blessed Virgin. She who is both the Mother of Christ and a member of the Church...continually brings to birth children for the mystical Body of her Son. She does so through her intercession, imploring upon them the inexhaustible outpouring of the Spirit." (15)
Mary rocks! I turned thirty today and, taking a look at everything I’ve been given, I can only kneel before Jesus and adore Him. Then when my knees are sore, I climb up into my Mother’s lap and hug her around the waist crying with tears of love. I’ll graduate nursing school this year, I’m married to a wonderful and beautiful woman, and I’m living a life that keeps me close to God.

So I can appreciate why our Bishop chooses to entrust those souls to Mary. When I allowed her, she showed me the path to her Son, and I wish this for others. Finally, through the rosary, Mary reminds me how much I love my own parents, who chose to bring me into this world thirty years ago.

Thank you, my glorious Queen, for guiding me to your Son. I pray that others may turn to your gentle guidance so that they may open their hearts to glorify the Lord. Amen.

Image credit: GFvonB

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