Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church is participating in a mission. Our Missionaries are about 70 strong, both priests, sisters, brothers, seminarians and lay people. The goal of this mission is bring the living Gospel of Jesus to the people of our town. The missionaires are hitting the streets of town, visiting the members of our parish, whether or not they are still active in the parish. Some parishioners cannot attend Mass because they are sick or elderly or both. Some have fallen away, but each individual in our parish, or not in our parish, is loved with the love of Jesus, by the missionaries. Loving and lovable, they seek to take Jesus to all whom they encounter along the way.
Our pastor, Father M., has said that in order for the mission to be successful there must be prayer, Mass, and Eucharistic Adoration by the missionaries and the parish. He told us that we need to pray and sacrifice. Father M said that if you have pain, or if you are ill, offer it up for the success of the mission. So, we do, and we pray. Heaven is being stormed by the prayers of the faithful.
Of course, not everyone participates in the mission, but there are great graces for those who do. One of my favorite practices, and, trust me, THIS. IS. NOT. EASY. TO DO, is to join the missionaries at 6:15 AM, processing through the streets of town praying the Rosary. We follow a statue of Mary being carried with great devotion and love by the missionaries.
I set one alarm for 5 AM and one alarm for 5:25 AM. Ugh! I slide into the church around 6:10 AM. I’m not alone. Offer it up. Offer it up, I hear. The early morning light is soft and the prayer of the faithful fly to heaven in the early morning skies. The air is slightly crips. It is Minnesota! We walk. We meditate. We pray:
- Hail Mary, full of Grace, the Lord is with you. Blessed are you amont women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.
- We respond:
- Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and at the hour of our death.
Those who are sleeping might hear our singing between mysteries, but we only want to bless, not wake. Perhaps, though, there are those who join us as we pass?
As much as I don’t like it, and 5 AM is early, the peace, beauty and blessings of our early morning Rosary Walk outweigh the shortened sleep we endure. We sacrifice so little so that God can be given glory by these missionaries. For now, our days begin with peace, many yawns, but great peace. What greater blessing can we be given, but peace, not the peace of the world, but the peace of God.
Oh My Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell. Lead all souls to heaven, especially those who are in most need of Thy mercy.