And I tell you, ask and you will receive;
seek and you will find;
knock and the door will be opened to you. |
For everyone who asks, receives;
and the one who seeks, finds;
and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
-Luke 11: 9-10
From my earliest memories, I’ve been praying or doing actions those around me called praying. At the ripe old age of seventy-six, I’m still not sure just what it means to pray. It often seems so inane to tell someone who is mourning the death of a loved one or suffering some illness that I’ll pray for them or ask some force or spirit in or above the universe to stop the music and listen to my pleas. Yes, I believe in God, but still, I often wonder if God believes in me.
I wonder if Mary accepted the Good News that she was to be the mother of God when the angel Gabriel announced that to her. I wonder how I would react if my sister came to visit me and told me she was pregnant with new life? This actually happened and continues to happen in my life regularly. I remember my sister writing me (that was 1963 before the Internet and Facetime) asking me to be the godfather of their newly born child, Jeanne. I was far away in Saint Paul Kansas at the time and she and her family lived in Chicago. I was discerning a life change for me and to her surprise I accepted the role and assured her I’d be present at the baptism in Chicago.
A few years later in 1980 I was living in Chicago and my sister, and her family were living in Western New York, when she called and asked if I would be able to be with Jeannie at Wyler’s Children’s hospital where they were transferring her after having traveled all over the United States looking for a cure for Jeannie. This was their last hope. Jeannie has lost her sight a few years earlier and continued to worsen. Jeannie died that year and my sister a few years later.
My life, and I suspect yours as well, has been filled with mysteries of life and death. I often wonder (meditate) on this and pray that I accept the life and death given to me today trusting that there is a higher power that I choose today to call God who is loving, caring and watching over each of us. Thank you, Mother Mary, for showing us the way to live life accepting what God gives us, and Saint Dominic for giving us a means (the rosary) to take time daily to be with these mysteries.
Dan O’Donnell is a Passionist Partner and a longtime friend of the Passionists. He lives in Chicago.