“Mary” Came A-Calling

Leading the daily procession

Leading the daily procession

There is a saying for those who go to Lourdes: “When Mary calls, you will go.”

Last October when the Western Region of the Order of Malta mailed out the volunteer applications for the 2013 Pilgrimage, my husband completed and return the application immediately.  He also included an application for our 13-year old daughter.  The volunteer coordinator of the pilgrimage selected them to participate.  A few weeks later, our daughter shared that she did not want to go anymore because she would miss her class trip to Catalina Island, a two-night, three-day adventure for science.  My husband and I figured “Mary” would make it happen when the time was right so we gave up her spot.

While decorating the Christmas tree, our 15-year old son brought up Lourdes to his sister.  He was a volunteer when he was thirteen.  He talked about the beauty, the peace, and the fabulous cheeseburgers.  Most of all, he loved his independence and time with the other teenage volunteers.  He worked hard supporting those who were sick, and he would go again, homework permitting.  Lourdes and especially time with the Malades gave him perspective on what is important in life.  It gave him the gift of wisdom.  He said,  “you are going to miss Lourdes to go to Catalina Island, really?  The food is terrible, you won’t sleep.  The only thing that is cool is the night snorkeling which is eerie because it is dark, and you are swimming in the kelp beds.  Really, you are going to miss Lourdes for that?”   My husband and I stayed absolutely quiet.  Our glances to each other confirmed we both knew there was something magical happening.  “Mary” was in the room, and she was calling our daughter.   Without any arm twisting or any fanfare, she said, “OK, I guess I will go.”  That evening, my husband emailed the coordinator of volunteers and shared what happened.  She put our daughter on the wait list.  We figured it would happen if “Mary” wanted it to happen.  On Christmas Eve, the coordinator emailed my husband to let him know that our daughter was back on the volunteer manifest.  Even though the wait list had not cleared, she was going to make it work.  And,  yes “She” did.

“Mary” came a-calling.  PrayersWork.

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Mary Ann L. Smith

About Mary Ann L. Smith

Called to shine the great light on the living beauty of faith through prayer

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