O Mary!

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Near the Cross stood our Lady,  the Mother of our Lord Jesus.  . . .

This was one of the first homilies that I had heard from a priest in Fatima in my recent pilgrimage (10 May 2014 onwards). He said that we had all come with our many intentions, and rightly so, and that we were surely praying not only for ourselves but for others.

For myself, I had certainly brought lots of petitions to place them at every holy place where masses would be offered, and I had the confidence to know that each prayer would be answered. How? It is up to the good Lord. When? It will surely be at the best time. Remember how our Lord went to see Lazarus much later, after he had been in the tomb for four days. But what happened after that? He raised Lazarus to life! Yeah, that is trust and that is confidence.

I was not disappointed. When I returned, I heard some good news. The prayers continue to be heard. . . Thank you, Lord.

At Fatima, and at all the other Marian shrines, people came with a whole gamut of experiences that were joyful, painful, tough and challenging. But each came with a desire to be heard. Each came, confident that our Blessed Mother cares for us and loves us. She stood by the Cross of her Son not so much for herself but for us. She is our Mother. She is also the Mother of God.

So we place our wounds, our plans and our hopes in her hands. We entrust them to her so she may bring them to her Son. Did she not tell Him at the wedding feast in Cana, ‘They have no wine’? Alleluia!

With that trust, many pilgrims were ready to recite the rosary with candlelight processions each evening, to go on their knees to recite the rosary and thus do penance for the ones who had asked for prayers, and of course, to attend masses daily. I had the opportunity to pray before the Blessed Sacrament on one occasion. And what a time of grace!

On the third and last morning, I went to the chapel to thank our Lady. It was 5.30 in the morning. A mass had just ended and another was starting. I took it as an invitation for the Eucharist is Thanksgiving. The mass was in Polish, and although I could  not understand, I was able to follow in spirit. Praise the Lord!