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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Our Visit to Our Lady of Fatima - As Usual It Didn't Go Quite as Planned

We went and saw Our Lady of Fatima and prayed for healing. A healing we most desperately need. The event only comes to the US once every ten years or so. It was worth seeing especially in my old parish.

My 2 year old however, decided to throw a fit when I told him he couldn't grab one of the large glass candles. So he decided to push it off the communion rail. Only by the grace of God did I manage to catch it in time. I can't imagine how embarrassing it would have been had he knocked over all these glass pillar candles in front of church during a solemn time.

Not to stop there, he turned to go and forgot he was on a small ledge and fell - flat on his face right in front of everyone. He wasn't hurt and wasn't crying, but as I hurriedly scooped him up and checked for injury I glanced at the congregation. I heard their gasps of horror when he fell and now I was looking at all their disapproving faces mostly from older women.
One loan younger mom who was there with her children though, gave me an understanding smile as I mouthed sorry to everyone. I felt a little better in my embarrassment and I was truly thankful for her kind smile.

I looked around for my husband who had already had found a pew and was kneeling down praying. I was hoping he was praying for us, but he was probably secretly praying that no one knew he was with us.

We quickly lit our candles and said our prayers. I went to go and sit down, but my son wanted to play with the candles some more. I took him by the hand and tried to walk away when he went into a full blown, 2 year old style meltdown. In an old church screams from a child are amplified and if there had been paint on the walls I’m sure it would have peeled.

I quickly picked him up and hurriedly walked down the long aisle to the back. I don’t remember that aisle being that long on our way up it, but it sure did seem to take forever to carry a kicking and screaming toddler back down it.

I could almost feel the burning, hateful eyes of the other parishoners in my back. Tiny beads of sweat were forming on my beet red, hot face as I quickly pushed open the big heavy wood doors to the outside. The cool outside air was a welcome feeling, but I felt a sense of loss on having exit like we did. This was not turning out to be the type of occasion I was looking forward to.

Once outside and after he had calmed down, I proceeded to tell my son that we would leave if he wasn’t quiet. He didn’t want to leave and wanted to go back in. When he was ready we re-entered the church. We chose a pew in the back near the exit in case my son, during the service, would once again act out. Luckily he was quite good during the 30 minute service.

As I sat there in my embarrassment, I pondered whether Mary ever had occasions like these when Jesus was a toddler. I took a little comfort in dreaming about how He might have been as a 2 year old and if or when he acted out how she handled it. She probably never did have to, but I’m sure if she did, it would have been with a great deal of grace.

In addition to our prayers for healing for my husband and protection for my son, I asked Mary if I could come to her for motherly advice now and then since I no longer have my mother to go to. I seemed to receive the answer of most certainly….anytime. I also seemed to have heard inside my head the words, “God has blessed you with a most precious gift and He wouldn’t have done so if He didn’t feel you could do it.”

When we made our way back up to view Mary one last time, I looked at her face and saw a weary tiredness. Maybe it was my own look being reflected back to me. But I also saw a quiet understanding in her face as if she remembered how hard being a mother can be and to just hang in there.

Bless that one understanding mom who smiled in her understanding way when everyone else was judging me and bless our Lady of Fatima who also seemed to show a look of weary understanding of only a mom who's been there could give.

If you want to see where the Our Lady of Fatima is coming to please visit the website:
Our Lady of Fatima

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