Thursday, April 26, 2018

Our Lady of Fatima has a hold on my heart...
As May approaches, my thoughts automatically turn towards the feast of Our Lady of Fatima, which we celebrate on the Church calendar May 13th. There are lots of other exciting things going on in May: May Crowning at the kids' school, Anne's birthday, Sam's birthday, confirmation season, Pentecost, my dance family returns from Egypt, the long Memorial Day weekend...all fantastic stuff that I cannot wait for. Always though, my mind turns to our Blessed Mother, and the role she is known for amongst three young Portuguese children in the early twentieth century.There is something about her that has become special to me in my adulthood, and in my role as wife and mother. That image of her is so appealing to me, so filled with tender understanding.

The week before Holy Week, I stopped in at our parish for the Sacrament of Reconciliation. I had been dealing with (and continue to deal with) the aftermath of a few difficult emotional situations. It's all part of life, you know? But for someone with a personality like mine: very gentle-natured, always wanting to please others, experiencing a great deal of empathy for others at all times - it's hard to climb out of a dark abyss like that. It's hard to feel like myself again, because my mind always wants to take me back to things that have hurt me and that I cannot control. It's something I've dealt with my whole life, but as an adult it has helped a bit to do some research (*pins on librarian super cape*) and realize that these qualities about myself are not only God-given (and thus, I cannot change them even if I wanted to) but they are in fact positive characteristics that I should not see as weaknesses. I should revel in being compassionate, loving and trusting, and in the resulting beautiful and lasting relationships I have in my life. It has given me a lot of peace and healing to focus on those things.

And so, as I was leaving the confessional that recent week late in Lent, I was struck by inspiration - Our Lady of Fatima. Her feast day is in the spring, and I just felt compelled to carry her with me on a day-to-day basis. So I texted Allison to see if she would accept a custom order for a one decade, springy rosary with an Our Lady of Fatima center, and she did. It is, of course, the rosary you see featured in this post. Isn't it lovely?!

I love one decade rosaries for the ease of being able to tuck them into your pocket. If you need a little extra courage or strength on a given day, you can easily reach for the rosary and feel the solace that it offers. I'm so thrilled with this particular rosary and the association I have with it for Our Lady in a particularly sweet, motherly role. Granted, I don't think we ever see Mary in a non-motherly role :) but this one strikes a special chord with me. I am relying heavily on Our Lady of Fatima this spring.

Maybe we could pray her novena this year? It would start next week, on May 4th, I believe. I can dig up the prayers if anyone would like to join me!


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