Saturday, January 07, 2006

Saturday - Traditionally Day of Our Lady

"The old Irish woman's Rosary" fragment from the book "How to be happy how to be holly" by Fr P.O'Sullivan TAN Books

Lady Beatrice Allen, a noble and wealthy English Lady, an ardent Protestant by conviction, once accosted a poor Irish woman whom she found saying her Rosary. In hope of converting "the poor benighted creature", as she considered her, good Lady Beatrice asked the poor woman why it was that she said that silly prayer. "Silly prayer, my Lady, you call it, but it is for me my joy and consolation. When I am sad and sorrowful it consoles me, and when I am happy it gives me more joy and pleasures.
"How could it be silly, my Lady, to speak to the Holy Mother of God, and sure that is what I am doing when I say the Rosary".
"Well then", replied Lady Beatrice, "will you tell me all about it?"- quite sure that she was going to hear a story of gross superstition. The explanation of the Rosary which this poor vendor of vegetables gave Lady Beatrice was so clear and, withal, so impressive that she afterward confessed that she had never heard from bishop or dean of her religion a sermon that gave her more to think about......
Here is briefly how the dear, old, unlettered woman preached her sermon on the Rosary. Holding her beads to Lady Beatrice, she showed her the crucifix and said:"When I begin to say my beads, my Lady, I kiss the five wounds of Jesus Christ as His Holy Mother did when He was taken from the Cross and placed in her arms. I thank Him for all He suffered for me, and I beg Him to pardon my sins and take me to Heaven after my death.
"Then, as you see, my Lady, there are two parts in the Rosary: one is small and has only five beads. That tells me that life is short and that my suffering will be soon over, and that I had better be ready for I may die any day, and I pray for a happy death. "There is the big part, the five decades, and that reminds me of the long life that is to come that will never end. And I say to myself, "Take care, Bridget Murphy, that you go to Heaven and not to offend God. On the big beads we say Our Father, the prayer that God Himself gave to us. He must hear us, for sure He promised to do so. It was He who put the words into our mouth, and He must be our Father if He says it. "Oh, it's a beautiful prayer and I love to say it! To think that God is my Father! That is enough to make anyone happy. "On small beads we say Hail Mary, and that prayer, too, came from God for it is what the Angel Gabriel said to the Blessed Virgin when he told her that she was to be the Mother of God. "Oh, how pleased the Blessed Virgin must be to hear again the self-same words of the angel for I wish with all my heart to give her again the happiness and joy the angel gave her! She is my Mother, and I make bold ask her to give me some of her great joy and holiness, for a true mother gives everything to her children.
"In the Hail Mary, I ask the Blessed Mother to pray for, her poor child, now, during this hard and wearisome life, to help me in my little troubles, but above all I ask her to pray for me when I am dying, at the hour of my death. Amen.
"Now, my Lady, how could God's Mother, who is so good and sweet, refuse to listen to my poor prayers? "I know she hears me, I am sure of it, and I am never tired saying the Hail Mary's and giving her pleasure". "But it must be tired repeating all these Hail Mary's", queried Lady Beatrice. "I am never tired, my Lady, of speaking to the Mother of God. "I now want to explain to you that when we are saying the holy prayers we are thinking of how Our Lord became man and lived 33 years on earth. These we call the Joyful Mysteries. "After that we think of all His terrible sufferings and how He died on the Cross. These are the Sorrowful Mysteries". Here the woman became wonderfully eloquent, talking about the Passion and death of Jesus Christ. She felt all she said, for her poor voice became broken and tears ran down her cheeks. "Last of all, my Lady, we think of how Our Lord rose up from the dead, glory be to God, and how He went to Heaven. These are the Glorious Mysteries. But before going, He told St Peter and the other Apostles that He would send down the Holy Ghost to comfort and console them and us all and that He Himself would be always with us to help us. "And truth He is in the Blessed Sacrament which we have in the Church. Every morning I go to Mass and poor and bad as I am, the priest tells me that I must go to Holy Communion. "And I say the Joyful Mysteries and I think that the Good God comes into my heart as He did when he went into the womb of the Blessed Virgin herself, and I ask her to help me to receive my God as she herself did. And I am sure she does, for I feel such comfort and peace". Lady Beatrice listened in wonder and asked the old woman:"Who taught you all these wonderful things?"
"It was the nuns at home in Ireland where I went to school and the parish priest, Fr. O'Toole, God be merciful to him. He had a great way with him and used to explain everything very clearly".
It was Lady Beatrice herself who told us this story, but at much greater length and with more details......She loves to tell to priests the story of her conversion, and she wears on her arm the old Irish woman's rosary in the form of bracelet. She treasures this as one of her most prized possessions. From this fact we see how the Rosary can give to the humblest of the faithful a clear grasp and understanding of the great Mysteries of our Faith.

Prayer to the Little Flower (From the Novena to Saint Therese)

O Saint Therese of the Child Jesus, who during thy short life on earth became a mirror of angelic purity, of love strong as death, and of whole-hearted abandonment to God, now that Thou rejoicest in the reward of Thy virtues cast a glance of pity on me as I leave all things in Thy hands. Make my troubles Thine own - speak a word for me to Our Lady Immaculate, whose flower of special love Thou wert - to that Queen of Heaven 'who smiled on Thee at the dawn of life'. Beg Her as Queen of the Heart of Jesus to obtain for me by Her powerful intercession the grace I yearn for so ardently at this moment, and that She join with it a blessing that may strengthen me during life, defend me at the hour of death, and lead me straight on to a happy eternity. Amen.

O God, who didst inflame with Thy spirit of love the soul of St Therese of the Child Jesus, grant that we also may love Thee, and may make Thee much loved