NOTICE: I am a practicing Catholic, active and in good-standing with my local parish, who professes faith and loyalty to the Church. This ministry - my "little work" - is strictly a personal expression of that faith and loyalty, and not an officially recognized ministry in the Diocese of Honolulu. ~ Peter

Saturday, April 1, 2017

First Saturday Parish Rosary at St. Anthony of Padua Church, 4/1/2017

We adore you, O Christ, and we praise You... because by Your Holy Cross,
You have redeemed the world!

It's Lent 2017.  Besides observing all the penitential exercises prescribed by the Church, Lent is a special time to reflect deeply on what Christ did for all of us by dying on the cross; to show GRATITUDE for His painful sacrifice... and to also make reparation for the many who don't bother to care at all.

The display altar at today's First Saturday Rosary with the relic of the True Cross
to the right.  Parishioners lined up after the prayer to venerate the relic.

At today's First Saturday Rosary, I asked the people present to embrace the above notions while we meditated on the 5 Sorrowful Mysteries of the Holy Rosary... and to help us do so, my ministry's relic of the True Cross made a rare pilgrim visit. I instructed the group to view the relic as a focal point during our meditations and, through it, to imagine themselves at the very foot of the Cross in the company of our Blessed Mother. To further kick up our prayer a notch, I challenged each person to not just be an observer of the Passion in their minds but to actually put themselves in Our Lady's shoes; to "feel" the sentiments that she went through as she watched her son suffer and die before her eyes; to pray as she prayed under the shadow of the Holy Cross. It all made for another intense 30 minutes in our Day Chapel.

A large golden escarcha
on a lady's face.
For me, I felt a strange and powerful rush of emotions as I prayed the Rosary - they alternated between deep sadness; helplessness; reverence and awe; resignation; peace; compassion; gratitude; forgiveness... and, of course, LOVE. At times, my sense of sadness made my chest and forehead ache, that's how much the mysteries of the Passion impacted me today. I also kept wondering to myself if the whirlwind of emotions and physical sensations I was experiencing was a small inkling of what Mary underwent on that very first Good Friday. If so, I can only imagine what excruciating sorrow Our Lady endured beneath the cross. St. Simeon described it to the Blessed Virgin with these words:

"... and a sword shall pierce your own soul, too..."

~ Luke 2:35

I think by the end of the meeting all of us were affected in varying degrees by our collective prayer and meditation. Several parishioners stayed behind afterward to venerate the True Cross relic - holding the reliquary to their hearts or faces; kissing it reverently; touching their rosaries to it; and taking photos. I sensed there were special "connections" being made with Jesus and/or Mary and this was evidenced by escarchas - shining flakes of gold - that manifested on a few people. A sign that God was present. Most, if not all, left the Day Chapel with a renewed appreciation for the Passion, as well as for Our Lady of Sorrows.

The next First Saturday Rosary for Peace will be prayed on May 6th, beginning at 4:25pm, in our parish's Day Chapel.  All are welcome to join us in prayer.

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