I Am Aware Of Our Lady’s Presence No Matter What I Do Or Where I Go
UNIX School in Arlington, Va. Dec 13-17, 2004
One of the requirements for my new job is to learn a computer operating system called UNIX. My manager said he would send me to school to help get me started. I was originally scheduled to take the class in Annapolis, Maryland but that course was cancelled and rescheduled at Learning Tree International in Arlington, Va. December 14th through the 17th.
The reason I decided to write a paper about this is because it is an excellent example of how the perfect timings are completely out of my control. I am not going to try to describe the events of each day except for the times that the opportunity for prayer presented itself. These opportunities were outside of my control.
When I got off work last night in Manassas I drove to Arlington, Va. for my class that was scheduled to begin the next morning at 9 AM. I arrived at the Sheraton Hotel on Eads Street and checked in. Since my class did not begin until 9 AM I figured I would have time to attend mass somewhere in Arlington before class. I found Our Lady of Lourdes Church in the Yellow Pages and so I called and was told there was a 6:45 AM mass.
I got up this morning fairly early because I wanted to give myself plenty of time to find Our Lady of Lourdes which was on 23rd Street because I know absolutely nothing about the Northern Virginia or Washington DC area. When I walked out of my room the time was 6:13.
I stopped at the front desk and asked for directions to 23rd Street and it ended up being just a couple of blocks down the street. I found Our Lady of Lourdes Church and at the very instant the car came to a complete stop the CD display flashed 13.
I attended mass and when it was over the woman who was in the pew behind me asked if I was new to the parish. I told her I was just visiting while in class for the next 4 days. She asked where I was from and I told her that I lived near Emmitsburg, Maryland. She then told me that Fr. Lang, the former pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes took bus loads of parishioners to St. Joseph’s for the Thursday Night Prayer Group and that she had been. I remember Fr. Lang from Thursday nights. We finished talking and I glanced at my watch and it said XX:XX:13.
I rode back to the hotel so I could find the Learning Tree International building. It ended up being located right next door to my hotel. I had no idea they were that close together. I now knew my way around to the only 3 places I needed to be which was the church, hotel and school so I rode back to pray the rosary at Our Lady of Lourdes. At the very instant I walked back in the door to pray the rosary the feeling of peace hit me. I glanced at my watch and the time was 7:33. There is a very nice side chapel of Lourdes in the church and that is where I prayed the Joyful and Sorrowful mysteries. I felt the peace at the very instant I finished the rosary and the time was 8:13.
After I finished the rosary I rode back to Learning Tree and the class began at 9 o’clock. Later in the day the instructor stopped for lunch and said to be back in an hour. I rode back to Our Lady of Lourdes to pray another rosary and arrived there at 12:13. I prayed the Glorious mysteries in the Lourdes chapel and when I finished I glanced at my watch as I walked out the door and the time was 12:33:33. I then rode back to class and when it was finished for the day I walked back to my hotel room and arrived at 4:13.
I drove to Our Lady of Lourdes for mass. At the very instant the car came to a complete stop the CD player on the dash again flashed 13. After mass I stayed in my pew and prayed the Glorious mysteries of the rosary. The very last thing I said in my prayers as I finished the rosary was “Thank you Jesus for allowing me to see Your Mother” at that very instant I kissed the crucifix on the rosary and glanced at my watch and it said XX:XX:33.
I prayed especially hard during the rosary because today is the ˝ way mark of my fathers Gregorian masses. When I left I glanced at my watch as I walked out the door and the time was 7:33:13.
I went to class and again later in the day when the instructor broke for lunch I went back to Our Lady of Lourdes. I felt the peace just as I started the rosary so I glanced at my watch and the time was 12:13. When I finished the rosary I looked at my watch as I walked out the door and the time was 12:33:13.
When I arrived at Our Lady of Lourdes this morning for mass the odometer was 13. After mass I prayed the rosary and when I finished I felt the peace run through me. I glanced at my watch and the time was 7:33.
At lunch time I went back to church and prayed another rosary and completed it at 12:33. Fr. Donohugh was hearing confessions so I went. I then went back to class. Later in the evening while sitting in my hotel room I had a very sudden thought of going back to Our Lady of Lourdes and praying a rosary. At that instant a 13 flashed across the television screen. I did go despite thoughts that the church would be locked by now. I arrived and it was open. I prayed the both the Glorious and Luminous mysteries and when I finished I got in my car to leave. When I started the car the time on the dash was 7:33.
Today is the last day of class and I will be very happy to get home. I left my hotel room to go to mass and the time was 6:33. I arrived at Our Lady of Lourdes and attended mass. After mass I prayed the Sorrowful mysteries and just as I finished I knew it was time to look at my watch because of the feeling of peace. It was 7:33.
I rode back to the Learning Tree and attended class. When class was dismissed for lunch I rode back to church and prayed the Glorious mysteries. When I finished I glanced at my watch and the time was 12:33.
I rode back to class and the very last thing we did was take an exam. I felt like I did pretty good on it. I then left to go home. I got in my car and just as I pulled out of the parking garage and the gate went up I suddenly felt the peace of knowing I was going home. I glanced at my watch and the time was 4:13:33.
I was caught in all kinds of traffic jams because of rush hour and also not knowing where I was or what the best way to get home was. I finally made it through the traffic and when I got back to Emmitsburg I stopped at St. Joseph’s first just to say thank you. When I finally arrived there the odometer was 1.3 and the time was 8:33.
Dec. 19, 2004