Hearts Sacred & Immaculate; Thinning the Veil
Recently, the Church celebrated the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, which (like Mary always does) follows her Son, who’s Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. These two days are so very meaningful to many Catholics and I would encourage anyone to spend some time reading about how they came to be, and adding them to your prayer time as a means by which to grow in love. For example, I was praying the Our Father the other day with this “lens”, asking The Sacred Heart of Christ to help me pray, and it was a beautiful and deepening result.
I have noticed for my interior life these two feast days thin the veil between heaven and earth. On the Feast of the Sacred Heart, I went to adoration for a little bit and it was so much easier to pray than it has been for me recently. The past months of losing my dad, a rogue reaction to a medical procedure, and major surgery with a long recovery–not to mention additional viruses and fatigue and some major spiritual battles–were all put aside for a moment of great peace and trust as I kneeled before Jesus.
A Miracle from Lourdes
Thursday, we had our Encounter with Christ, and “Mishes” shared a story about her recent pilgrimage to Lourdes. With her permission, I relay this experience of hers with thanksgiving.
While waiting in line to receive anointing and prayer with the miraculous water, she witnessed a young mother being prayed over by a priest. She had cancer and was hoping for healing and more time with her young children. As he was praying, the priest stopped and told her “Be still.” She looked up and he had tears streaming down his face. She was worried something was wrong with her and asked him if everything was ok. After a moment, he explained “I saw the Blessed Mother behind you. She said to tell you she’s ‘got your back’.”
Do you believe? I do. In fact this eye-witness account from our friend’s recent travels laid the groundwork for the series of “mini miracles” that took place over the next two days.
A Friend Finds Her Way
Just before going to pray on Friday, my daughter texted me from a home which she happened upon which had a sign that said “Estate Sale Today” directing her down the driveway. She sent me a picture of the corner of a room with some items that she said should have been labeled “mom” for me. One of the items was a reliquary holding a saint whose name I could not read. As my daughter was in a hurry, I told her to buy it and bring it home. I said a little prayer to the Holy Spirit, “Lord, I don’t know which saint that is, but knowing many people’s Patron Saints, I am sure I will know to whom it is traveling. I will get it into the right hands.”
My friend, Dred, who has taught me many things, has a room full of relics, including one of Padre Pio’s gloves. She and her husband Paul run the “Padre Pio” group here in Nashville. She once gave me a relic of Blessed Seelos, and explained that our friends the saints travel to those who need them. I quickly had to detach myself from collecting for my own purposes and had more of an interest in being a passenger that accompanies the saints on their journeys.
And The Saint Goes To….
When my daughter got home I anxiously awaited who was going to be visiting my house in the form of their reliquary, and what the mission may be.
Rose-Philippine Duchesne (1769-1852), religious, of the Society of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
This beautiful lady has a shrine in St Louis and was the patron saint of a friend of mine who has a ministry called “Praying For Our Prodigals.” I will be featuring more about Kristine and her ministry here in the near future. For now, it is important to say that her ministry, in which people get on calls at 3pm Wednesdays from around the country and pray the rosary together, has become very successful and effective. Many miraculous things happen when people get together to pray for those they love, especially the rosary, as Kristine will witness, and Saint Rose Philippine has been her patron saint throughout.
When I messaged Kristine about the reliquary, needless to say, she was thrilled. I told her the story of how her saintly friend came to be with me, and how I believed Kristine must have needed encouragement or an answered prayer. She confirmed that this was the case.
Kristine and I marvelled over many of the other little miraculous things around this story, some of which I cannot mention here, but Kristine was quick to point out that her friend St Rose-Philippene was a member of the Sacred Heart order, and chose this special feast day of the Sacred Heart to find a way into the hands of one of her biggest fans.
A White Star; The Immaculate Heart Mass
Saturday morning, I was intent on getting to mass to let Our Blessed Mother know how much I appreciate her help in my life. Since I have received a few blows in the past weeks, I have been crawling in my little hole and having a major pity party. I have been neglecting the fact that Mary, Jesus’ mom and my heavenly mom, never leaves me. Why hadn’t I remembered to turn to her more often? The gift of St Rose-Philippene’s visit and the power of the Rosary we pray for prodigals, was a tiny kiss from Our Lady as well.
From One Young Mother to Another…
While I was praying at mass, I noticed a young mother who I had not seen in a while. She was there any time I attended a daily mass, always calmly toting her three tiny girls along with her. She always quietly redirecting them when they cried, fussed or fought with each other. Because of my circumstances, I hadn’t been to daily mass in a while, where I often would see this young mother and her girls. Now I could see that she was pregnant with her fourth child. The three girls had gotten a little bigger, the youngest of which was demanding her mother’s attention, taking books out her sister’s hands, and dumping her mom’s purse contents as her mother quietly attended her.
I marveled at this beautiful young woman who so generously was here for her Blessed Mother on a Saturday, with three girls tumbling and grabbing all around her and the unborn infant in her tummy. I thought of my own mom, who lost five babies of her own over the years and ended up with four girls of her own (she says the other five were all boys and I need to be mindful that my brothers are interceding in Heaven for me, which explains a lot.)
I said a prayer for my mom and this mother. I thought about all that we sacrifice and do as mothers with young children, and what a blessing it all really is, and how I miss it. My mom is in her late eighties now (please don’t tell her that, she thinks she fifty, even when the math doesn’t work) and she is struggling with different things now of course, but is ever more devoted to the Blessed Mother.
The Star Walks
As we kneeled after communion, I was deep in prayer when I opened my eyes and saw something moving in the corner just to the side. I was in the back part of the church in the center, and there were about five people in the pews to my left, spread out a few rows apart. I saw a half-deflated Mylar balloon. It was white and star-shaped, and it floated at face-level of all the kneeling people it passed.
It gently hovered near three different people (who were spread apart by rows) as it made its way forward toward the altar. I noticed it was so close to those faces it passed, that it almost brushed their cheeks as if to kiss them. It was so quiet that it was unseen by a few people who were in deep prayer. I watched to see if anyone else seemed to notice it. One woman on the end of the pew in front of me (but all the way to the left aisle where the balloon was meandering) noticed and almost jumped as it came so quietly close to her. Now the balloon, holding both of our attention, took a sharp right turn. It went through the pew–not around it, or over it–as if someone were pulling it by a string and walking the length of the pew. It stopped just behind the little mother with the three fussing girls and caught their attention. Stilled by the wonder of this white star, they watched with intent, glistening eyes as the balloon took it’s bidding and floated straight up in a perfect line and faded up to the high white ceiling of the sanctuary.
In my heart, I knew it was a whisper of acknowledgement from Our Lady. She heard our prayers on this beautiful day of hers. It was something that may not sound remarkable to some, but it was astounding to see at the very moment in the mass when she would never take away from her Son on the altar. Only as a quiet “afterthought” as she would likely want to be behind him in every way.
The White Star, Queen of My Heart
She quietly nears and kisses their cheeks
Her presence draws us in, but it is not attention she seeks
No, that is for her Son. Instead she is steady and hovers near…
“I am here my dear one, there is nothing to fear.”
Moving along at a slow steady pace
a beautiful whisper, brushing tears from your face.
Like other stars, reflecting their Son, she shines above
“Look up my precious children, your Father is Mercy and Love.”
Up she goes, pacing her guidance
Entrust ourselves to her powerful alliance.
“Never fear my children, I will never be far.”
Silently dancing, goes the White Star.