A Gift about the Wrist and Medugorje

This morning I was talking to a new friend who asked about my necklace– with the Blessed Mother gold medal with roses around it.

Twice now, a woman has complimented it. I’ve been quietly hoping someone would notice. The first woman said it was “pretty” but never indicated she recognized it as religious.

When I explained to this woman today, she replied, “I have a devotion to the Blessed Mother, too.”

That made my heart swell. That’s a Catholic phrase— “a devotion to _____.” A moment of connection.

Simply, a devotion to any saint or Mary herself involves frequent prayer for their intercession, and a particular interest in reading about their lives and learning about their personalities and miracles on their behalf. We may connect with a particular aspect of their story or feel comforted, as if they offer a specific comfort that we need. We may feel a strong connection as if they are helping us on our journey, in small coincidences and signs that bring us resolve and assurance of the validity of our faith.

We may want to visit their shrines or make a pilgrimage to different sites known to be under their influence.

Devotion toward Mary, mother of Jesus, is called Marian devotion. There are distinctly Catholic terms of endearment for her, such as Our Lady, or the Blessed Mother. She has myriad other titles, but those are some of the most common I’ve noticed.

After this woman’s compliment, I noticed her bracelet. Very simple with wooden beads with a cross on it. I told her I liked it.

She smiled and took it off, offering it to me.

I was floored, especially when she explained she had received it the same way. A woman had given it to her just that way– she was passing it on to me.

As I held it and examined the cross, I saw the word Medugorje written in faint gold ink. It sort of glimmers– but you wouldn’t necessary notice it unless you were looking.

Medugorje is a city where the Blessed Virgin Mary is known to appear on a regular basis since 1981– many of the Faithful make pilgrimages there hoping for a miracle. People of all faiths, not just Catholics, flock there. Conversations and healings are common for those who make the journey to a small village in Bosnia-Hercegovina.

This is also the second time since December 2014 that a stranger (both women) randomly gave me something associated with Medugorje. Immediately, no hesitation, with a smile.

I know many would dismiss these instances as superstition. But for me, they are affirmative and wonderful.

I have a new Catholic friend and a beautiful bracelet to remind me that Our Lady is with me.

Now that’s a blessing.

Solitude, Tacos and Our Lady of Guadalupe

It was quiet, hardly any customers. It was before the dinner rush set in.

I had brought my gray suede journal with me and was writing on the first page. I felt a bit lonely.

The hostess sat me at a small table next to the wall. Maybe that’s why I noticed— I took the chair facing the entrance. She was directly in my line of sight.

Seeing a statue of the Blessed Mother isn’t really a surprise in a Mexican restaurant– it’s a culture steeped in Catholicism with a strong devotion to Mary in particular. But it’s interesting that I’m only just noticing it– after being a regular customer for several years.

And this statue is beautiful in a quiet, dignified way– Our Lady of Guadalupe, a popular Marian image. Some months ago, I met a woman with a tattoo very similar to this version of the Blessed Mother.

I notice that I see these images of her at times when I feel troubled– and I’m almost always alone.  I’ve been praying to her more the past 1.5 years.

She was underneath the specials menu, on a pedestal. Not commanding your attention. I was comforted to see her there.

Maybe my heart is opening more, and now I’m more receptive to noticing her.

Whatever the reason, I want to share this picture with you.

Open your heart, and maybe you’ll see her somewhere unexpected too.


Smile, it’s Only Church

I went to Mass with my parents tonight in observance of the Assumption of Mary.

“Smile, it’s only church,” my step-mother said to my dad.

He cracked a grin and laughed a little bit.

She then got a very serious look on her face, imitating my dad’s usual face.

I couldn’t help it– I giggled a bit too.

Their marriage works because they tease each other– every day, they laugh.

Sounds like a recipe for happiness to me. 🙂

We sang the hymns, and one of them was “Hail, Holy Queen.”

I remembered this song from “Sister Act,” and giggled a bit to myself.

I sang a little louder, rocking a bit. My Aunt Mary Jane, a Catholic nun, loved this movie. She passed in 2010. I felt her with me in that moment.

She was like a mother to me, in many ways.

Tonight I felt connected to the Blessed Mother, my step-mother, and my aunt, who we usually just called “Sister.” Pretty fantastic.

Thanks, Mary!