Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Three Hail Marys

"There is always enough time to pray three ‘Hail Marys.’"
Our Lady of Guadalupe St. Hedwig Parish Detroit
"There is always enough time
to pray three ‘Hail Marys.’"

That’s what Mary G. would always say.
She was one of those church ladies.
You know the ones I mean.
She did everything:
serve as Eucharistic Minister,
fill in for the secretary on her day off,
stuff the church bulletin,
count the collection money. . . .

She was very staunch in her ways,
often making me very angry
because she always thought
that her point of view
was the only point of view to have.

God has already called her home.
But her words
stay with me:
"There is always enough time
to pray three ‘Hail Marys’"

This really isn’t a hard practice for me to follow.
I have always had a devotion to our Blessed mother,
particularly under the tile of
Our Lady of Guadalupe.

I found myself
practicing this "Three Hail Marys" devotion last night
as I drove home from St. Gabriel parish
after a rehearsal last night.
As I neared the intersection
of Outer Drive and Fort Street,
where the cities of Lincoln Park and Detroit meet,
I found myself with more than enough time
to pray "Three Hail Marys."

A few years ago,
my eldest son was car-jacked there.
I suddenly realized
that I had been praying "Hail Mary"
every time I drive through that intersection.
Last night I realized
that the intersection is calling me to prayer.

At the time when my son was car-jacked,
I found my prayers were three-fold.
Of course,
I offered prayers for my son.

But I also offered prayers
for the young man
who held a gun to my son’s head
and shouted at him,
"Get out the ride."

What could have happened
in this young person’s life
that he chose to do this?

Where did he get the gun?

What did he want the car for?

Even as I write this
I offer prayers to Our Lady for him.
And I remember him
to St. Monica as well.

At the time
I also offered prayers up
for this young man’s mother.

Was she a good mother
whose son went down the wrong path?

Was she a bad mother
who just didn’t care?

Was this young man’s mother deceased?

Whoever she was
and whatever the situation
I found that I needed to offer prayers for her as well.

You know,
it isn’t just sacred space
because we worship there,
because the church building is there.

It’s sacred space
because we walk on it.

It’s sacred space
because we drive through it.

Outer Drive and Fort Street.
It’s a sacred land
because no matter how many times
I drive through that intersection
I always feel the sudden desire to pray.

Thank you, Mary G.
This time your point view
truly proved to be the only point of view to have.

There IS always enough time
to pray three Hail Marys.

About the photo:
Our Lady of Guadalupe Feast Day 2007
St. Hedwig Parish
Detroit, MI

1 comment:

William said...

Why so many different blogs? :) I think you might do better if you Tagged them properly. I am not an expert blogger, but it does make it easier to find ALL of your interests.
I liked your comment on Fencing Bear. I admire the Latin culture. As of the moment though ( as I always seem to be ) I am transitioning in my thoughts. Very confused..somewhat sad. Mostly alone. I am trying to attend church and be good ( not catholic, Wesleyan ). That helps. Well, anyhow, when I was in Tiajuana in 90' I thought it was a wonderful place. Surely I could of been robbed by anyhow however, most of the people were honestly good. If it my opinion..if i dropped $700 bucks on the ground in tiajuana in 90' i'd likely get it back..if here where i live..less of a chance and i live in a relatively friendly place. its something that is admirable in the culture. thanks