I was flying home from Chicago and was seated next to a young black man. We began to converse, and he told me that he was on his way home from Washington DC. He had been there visiting his girlfriend for the weekend. Of course, he was grinning from ear to ear. He said that they had a wonderful weekend together.
Since it was Sunday, I asked if he had attended church that day. He just smiled and said, “Nah. I haven’t been to Mass in years.” Of course, my ears perked up at the word Mass. We continued to talk for a bit. I asked why he had stopped attending Mass. He said that he didn’t really know. He just wasn’t interested any more.
I often wonder what happened to him. Of course, I didn’t get his name nor did he get mine. I pray for him from time to time. Our visit on the plane did impact me, and I think it impacted him. God works so wonderfully.
Before our flight ended. It was a short flight, just over an hour, but God had plans neither of us anticipated. After our discussion about Mass and religion and faith, I remembered that I had an extra rosary in my purse. I pulled it out and gave it to the young man. He looked at it. Held it in his hands and started to cry. He said, “You have no idea. You really don’t. My mother would love you. She’s wanted me to pray the rosary for years. My grandma has been praying for me to go back to church.”
I just smiled. He put the rosary in his pocket, and he smiled, too. Our conversation ended when we landed. He smiled at me and said goodbye. I returned the greeting. I wish I knew what he was doing now. At the very least, I hope that he has returned to the Church and prays the rosary again. God meant for all of us to be saints. I hope he’s headed for sainthood. Time will tell. You never know when you’ll need that extra rosary. Now, I always carry an extra one in my purse.