Tuesday, June 29, 2010

When one laptop closes, something else opens!

When I told you back on June 15th that I was going to hold off on blogging and take a break from Facebook until my Marian Promise concluded on June 22nd, I was hoping to be noble.

Maybe I was trying to prove to myself that I could do without them or something.  Most of all, I was hoping that I was following a slight nudge from God.  I wasn't sure, honestly.

But I wasn't noble at all.

I immediately wanted to undo my decision.  I started to tell myself that maybe it wasn't the prompting of the Holy Spirit that gave me the idea.  I even tried to convince myself that it might be more noble for me to write about my faith (that's blogging!) and to continue to reach out to others in fellowship (which was, perhaps, a bit of a stretch for what Facebook actually is).  Ha!

And even though I posted this little reminder sign atop my laptop, there were some exceptions I allowed for myself, which were:
  1. The computer and Internet could be used, so long as I wasn't blogging and so long as I wasn't checking my Facebook notifications or visiting friends' pages.
  2. Reading my Facebook messages would unfortunately have to be done, since I had several upcoming events scheduled with people who only knew to contact me on there.  But I would not reply to anything unless it was absolutely necessary.
Fortunately, I stuck with the commitment.  And this allowed me to see again just how amazing the Holy Spirit is...and what God does for us! 

While in the midst of tremendous blogging and Facebook withdrawal, I found myself insanely bored, sitting in front of the computer.  Sure, there were a million things I should have done that did not require the use of a computer, but somehow I still found myself wanting to do something digital.

And so, I wandered around the Internet.  I looked up stuff on St. Philomena.  And she, no doubt, helped me to stumble upon the Universal Living Rosary Association, of which she is the patroness.

This beautiful organization's mission is to unite people in praying the daily Rosary.  Joining the organization is free but requires the commitment of praying one decade of the Rosary on a daily basis for the rest of your life.

By filling out a simple online form, your name is added to a group of 19 others who will each pray and meditate on a specific decade to complete the 20 Mysteries of the Rosary on a daily basis.  Since united prayer is always more powerful than singular prayer, this excited me very much!

Over 11 million people are part of this incredible mission, and I found myself insanely excited about what decade I might be assigned.  What would God ask of me?  Would I be asked to meditate on the carrying of His cross, which is the 4th Sorrowful Mystery?  Or would it be the Annunciation and the humility of Mary that I would contemplate for my remaining days on earth?  Would I spend a lifetime  thinking about the Decent of the Holy Spirit, the 3rd Glorious Mystery?  Or would I happen to be assigned the Visitation of Our Lady to St. Elizabeth, the feast day of which is also my birthday?  Perhaps He would ask me to meditate on His Crucifixion.  I would accept whatever He asked of me.

So, I submitted my online registration form and patiently waited for my packet of materials to arrive in the mail.  Meanwhile, I researched the Mysteries of the Rosary online, discovering that each decade is typically assigned a virtue on which to contemplate.

Incredibly, my packet arrived in my mailbox just three days later on Friday, June 18th.  This was my last day of school, and I had scurried home joyfully and went over to the church across the street to thank Him in person for another great school year.  I took the packet with me, planning to open it up while I was in His presence.

"What, oh what decade would I be given?!" I thought, as I ran over to His house.

Buried within the thick mailing of pamphlets, leaflets, and prayer cards was a tiny envelope.  A message on the outside of it read, "Your decade is inside."

With excitement, I opened it up.  My eyes fell upon the beautiful mystery on which I am to mediate for the rest of my life.  My jaw dropped, for this was the very one I had hoped for...the very happiest one there is...the very one which I wanted to ask for but did not.  Yes, God had listened to my heart's desire, even when I had tried to suppress it.

Incredibly, I was asked to mediate on the Most Glorious Mystery, the grand finale of all the Mysteries and of the universe itself (other than, of course, the second coming of Christ which will happen at the end of time): The Coronation of Our Lady!

"Eternal happiness" is the virtue I must mediate on as I envision the beautiful crowning of Our Lady as Queen of Heaven & Earth!  Can you believe it?!  All of Heaven rejoices in this event!

I began to cry as I thanked God for His generosity.  Of all the beautiful things He could have asked me to mediate on, He invited me to this, the greatest of all Heavenly celebrations, the 5th Glorious Mystery!

I was part of the 24,059th Rosary, and my commitment would begin one month after the day they assigned me to a Rosary.  Since they processed my application on June 16th, the date on which my Rosary would begin would be July 16th, 2010.

I immediately knew for what intention this Rosary would be prayed, for it is that which is most dear to my heart, and I'm prepared to spend a lifetime praying for it.  After this, I went online to see whose feast day falls on July 16th.  INCREDIBLY, July 16th is the liturgical feast day of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and her Brown Scapular!!!

So, if I hadn't gotten off of Facebook and taken a break from blogging, I may have never stumbled upon the Universal Living Rosary Association.  And if I hadn't stumbled upon the site when I did, then I surely would have not been so lucky as to have been given a Rosary which begins on a Marian Feast Day that encourages the use of my favorite sacramental.

God, You amaze me.