April 4, 2003

First Friday

A few weeks ago on Friday March 21 Ted Szymanski and I were at St. Mary’s in Fairfield for our regular Friday night rosary. The rosary started after the Stations of the Cross and only a few people stayed. During the rosary I had a very sudden and somewhat troubling thought that we should not be praying the rosary on Friday nights during Lent. It seemed to put Jesus in 2nd place. I suddenly realized that we should be in our own parishes praying the Stations of the Cross. I thought about S.C.C. and C.R.C. being at our home parish and I wanted to be there too. At the very same instant I wanted to be in St. Joseph’s on Monday nights for the Miraculous Medal Novena. This thought was so strong that I glanced at my watch. The time was 7:33:33. Driving home that night I mentioned the idea to Ted and he was in full agreement.

The following Monday night (March 24) Ted and I did go to the Miraculous Medal novena and we arrived there at 7:33. We were unable to attend the next Monday night (March 31) because obligations at home made going impossible. I told S.C.C. that I would like to go on Friday April 4 after Stations of the Cross at our "home parish" because St. Joseph’s is open all night for adoration on 1st Fridays.

Friday came and we attended the fish dinner. The RCIA class had the Stations of the Cross. I read the part of Nicodimus. When everything was over S.C.C. and C.R.C. wanted to go get ice cream. When we arrived home S.C.C. considered riding up to St. Joseph’s with me but decided that she was to tired. She said she would rather wait and go when the new Catholic book store, St. Peter’s Books and Gifts opens.

I pulled out of the driveway and had not gone very far when suddenly I was filled with the never changing peace that I have learned to recognize as being associated with Emmitsburg. I looked at my watch and the time was 9:13:00. I arrived at St. Joseph’s at 11:33. I walked inside and there were about 10 or 12 people there for adoration. I got in my pew and I just sat there for a while. I did not start praying right away, I just wanted to sit there. After a while I started to pray and this is what I said: “God, i do not understand why i am here. I thank You for the fact that i am here and i am willing and want to do Your Will. This is not easy, in fact this is the hardest thing i have ever been through in my life. It is also the most rewarding. Thank You for allowing me to go beyond believing Your Mother is here to knowing Your Mother is here.” I then knelt and prayed the entire rosary. During the rosary I continued to tell God that I am willing to continue without restrictions and according to His Will and timetable.

When I finished the rosary I sat back down and just looked at the Host up on the altar and went back to just praying in my own words. When I finished I said “Thank You and my answer to anything You want is yes.” I never looked at my watch from the time I entered the church until after I got up and was walking out of the front door to go home. As I walked out I looked and the time was 1:13. I started the truck and the time on the dash was 1:13. The very instant I pulled out the odometer switched to 33.3. I drove home and walked in my front door at 3:33.