That was part of the homily last Sunday....how none of us have a right to anything but our sinfulness. There are no entitlements with God. We are all beggars at the feet of Jesus.
So I spent some time begging the other night.
Backing up a bit. My sister-in-law hosts a Rosary group. We meet about every-other-Tuesday and have some regulars who pray with us. Two who have been there when they are able are SIL's best friend who was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer last fall and a mom from my kids' elementary school who was diagnosed with stage 4 Lung Cancer 2 1/2 years ago. The doctors gave her a 15% chance of living a year. Both have recently received challenging news in the way of new cancerous growth.
So what are we to do but pray? Keeping in mind that prayer changes us - not God - SIL thought about organizing 24 hours of Adoration to pray for the needs of these two ladies and a cure for cancer. That rather quickly evolved to "Find some time to pray in front of the Blessed Sacrament in the next couple of weeks and let me know..." so that we could present them with a Spiritual Bouquet of sorts...and maybe some real flowers, too.
My kids had CCD the other night, and I needed something to do to fill the time. Could be nothing better than spending it with Jesus - begging.
I went down the street to the church near my school. There is a dance school across the street, so at this hour the church parking lot is populated by parents in SUVs waiting to pick up their ballerinas. There is a keypad by the church door and I let myself in. No one else is there this evening.
I kneel for a while and say "hello" to Jesus - acknowledging that He is all powerful. The light is fading. I decide to say the Rosary. Monday is the Joyful Mysteries.
The Annunciation. I think of Mary's surrender and think of the difficulty the ladies must have in surrendering to God's will in the face of their cancer diagnoses.
The Visitation. Why exactly did Mary go to visit Elizabeth? Was it to help her? Or was it to learn from her? Or was it so that she could be touched by Jesus' presence? And these ladies....are we to help or to learn from or to be touched by them?
The Birth of Jesus. He came here to be part of our lives...to enter our world. Even the suffering - or maybe especially the suffering. I pray that they continue to know His presence in their lives.
The Presentation of Jesus in the Temple. It often strikes me that this Joyful Mystery is also one of the Sorrowful Mysteries prayed in the 7 Sorrows Rosary. Mary and Joseph offering their Son to the Father. And my friends...offering their suffering to the Father. Knowing His Love, but also knowing such pain and heartache.
Finding the Child Jesus in the Temple - Again, a Joyful Mystery that is also one of the Seven Sorrows. Jesus is in the home of His Father. I pray for these ladies that they, too, are about their Father's work, that they are obedient to what He wants them to do, just as Jesus obediently returned home with Mary and Joseph.
Sometimes I rest my arms on the pew in front of me and put my head down while I pray through the Hail Mary's. It is darker when I open my eyes again. The candles flickering on the wall are more noticeable.
It is so quiet. During the day, the building creaks and moans as the sun heats up the structure. But at night, it is quiet. The cars waiting in the parking lot for the dancers have gone.
I walk to the front, and in the darkness, I stand at the foot of that cross and look up. We have no right to anything. Sickness and pain entered the world because of man's unfaithfulness. None of us deserve a miracle. Miracles are for the glory of God. I don't remember the words, but the prayer comes from the heart.
It is time to go. He is the light that conquers darkness. And for that, I will happily beg.
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