“Pray without ceasing.” 1 Thessolonians 5:27
According to St. Ignatius of Loyola, we can confidently look for Jesus to be sitting in any chair, in any room, anytime we want him. We need only look intently for him, and Jesus will be there for us to talk with and listen to.
Those who meditate daily on Ignatius’ “Examen” do just that, reflecting on the times each day when they are with God, or, instead, are moving away from God’s love.
Marlene and Beverly look to God as their constant companion and have done so for many years. It all started when, as little girls, their faith was taught to them at the feet of their devout parents.
As with Beverly’s parents, Marlene’s mom and dad were in constant prayer, talking to God, sometimes even asking for help. They themselves had also learned from their parents that you can just talk to God anytime about anything, even about little things, like when Marlene’s kids were on their way home from school with storms brewing over heads. Marlene would pray, “Lord, please give me a few minutes to let the kids get home.” Inevitably, rain wouldn’t pour until the moment the kids were safely in the garage.
When Mom passed, Marlene knew God had her and it was confirmed on Mom’s birthday. Marlene strongly felt Mom’s presence as she walked into Hallmark’s. Marlene saw a tea cup there; Mom loved her tea. Just then, a song from Mom’s funeral began playing in the background. Marlene smiled; she knew Mom was with her, letting her know she was OK.
Like Marlene’s mom, Beverly’s mom taught her the power of prayer and to pray the rosary. It helped Beverly deal with her many health issues growing up.
For those unfamiliar, the word “rosary” is Latin and means a garland of roses, the rose being one of the flowers used to symbolize the Virgin Mary. If you were to ask what object is most emblematic of Catholics, people would probably say, “The rosary, of course.”
After Vatican II the rosary fell into relative disuse. The same is true for Marian devotions as a whole, but in recent years the rosary has made a comeback, and not just among Catholics. Many Protestants now say the rosary, recognizing it as a truly biblical form of prayer – after all, the prayers that compose it come mainly from the Bible.
Beverly nearly died when appendicitis turned into peritonitis. Her abdomen filled with bacteria and her temperature was so high, doctors advised her parents to plan for her funeral. But her mom and dad were determined; they said “No.” They knew prayer would see her through and it did.
Around age 2, Beverly developed serious eye problems. After each surgery, doctors would bandage both eyes for a couple of weeks at a time. Her eye condition got so serious that she totally lost her eyesight at age 6, and again when she was 7.
Each time when the bandages came off she was OK, but upon arriving home from the hospital she would develop blood clots behind the eyes. She would nap and when she awoke, she couldn’t see. It happened for the last time when she was 12. That’s when her mom knelt Beverly beside the bed and prayed the rosary. They asked Mary to intercede, to “put in a good word” with Jesus, since she is so close to him up in heaven.
A couple of hours later, Beverly’s eyesight was back; her eyes got clear. It was a total and miraculous cure because for many years now, Beverly has never had those eye problems again.
Their moms always had great faith in asking the mother of God for help.