|Breath of God perfume from Lush.|
With each wave of my wrist it reminds me of God's loving presence in my life.
In the final weeks leading up to Roses for Our Lady's annual Mother's Day May Crowning and outdoor Eucharistic Rosary Procession, I am usually a nervous wreck. This is the fifth year that I've been involved with planning the event, and while it has gotten much easier with each passing year, the jitters nevertheless take over so profoundly that I forget to trust God and His love for me and turn into an irritable grouch. I hate that. I think about how I expect my children to be joyful and to obey me immediately and thoroughly when I ask them to do something, and yet, I fail to be that kind of daughter to my own Mother. I want to give with joy, but when I get stressed about planning the May Crowning, I feel that I am only giving my Mother the crumbs from my spiritual table, begrudgingly giving of myself with complaints and negativity instead of joyfully working to please her.
The very first year that I was involved in planning the May Crowning and felt overwhelmed by the burden, I had complained to a friend about my concerns and worries. His three word response was simple yet powerful. He said, "Jesus loves you." At the time I don't think I found those words to be particularly helpful. I think I was looking for more sympathy like, "Oh you poor thing! You're working so hard! Well, don't worry, everything will be alright." But really, thinking back on it, that's exactly what he said with the words "Jesus loves you." That was really all that I needed to know.
And this year, sure enough, the irritability and worry have been creeping back into my soul with each day that the calendar draws a bit closer to the May Crowning. It's so silly, really, because everything is well planned and we have lots of volunteers and I know that by the time the May Crowning is over I'll be beaming over how beautiful everything was, but still, I'm plagued by nervous tension and anxiety.
But Jesus, knowing my struggle with anxiety again this year, wanted to remind me of His love to help me overcome my worries. And here's how He did it:
Last week, as I was walking through the parking structure where I work, ready to begin my day, I found some beautiful beads lying on the ground. At first I had thought it was a rosary but after counting the beads and doing a little searching, I learned that they were meant for praying either the Chaplet of the Sacred Heart of Jesus or the Chaplet of Precious Blood. I was overjoyed, feeling that because I have a great devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and as an Oblate of the Precious Blood, the Lord had specifically placed those beads where I would find them as a reminder of His great love for me.
Then, I received a sweet and simple message from my friend, Fr. Steve, letting me know that he had remembered my intentions, and those of my family, in his Mass for the Immaculate Heart of Mary. His spontaneous message and his precious gift of Mass was surely a fitting sign of God's love, especially considering that it was a Mass for the Immaculate Heart of Mary!
Finally, my sisters and I gather for a monthly rosary night, and at our most recent gathering, I offered our rosary for the success of the May Crowning and for a decrease in my anxiety which was still causing me so much distress despite those two beautiful signs of God's love that I had already received. The prayers of siblings are always powerful, especially when it's the rosary that we pray, and the following morning my prayer was answered as I awoke with peace in my heart and remembered my friend's message to me from five years ago: "Jesus loves you."
I know that if the day of the May Crowning comes with rainy weather or any other unforeseen difficulty or challenge, it will still be a beautiful day and a perfect offering of love. All that Jesus and our Blessed Mother asks of me, and of all of those who attend the May Crowning, is to bring our loving presence and a little bit of joy in our hearts, and all will be perfectly well. Jesus loves you and that's all we ever need to know.
Why not join Roses for Our Lady at this year's May Crowning? It will be held on Sunday, May 10th at 2 pm at the Archdiocesan Marian Shrine, 141 N. 68th Street in Milwaukee. It's the largest May Crowning in Milwaukee and it's always beautiful! Visit this link for more information.