- Sun Oct 26, 2008 5:16 am
I've always been devout and attend Mass regularly. I don't remember ever a time in my life when I didn't feel God's presence in my life. Early in my marriage, my husband and I would attend Marian conferences when they were held near Chicago. We also were members of a Medjugorje prayer group in our church and eventually took it over when the main person moved out of town. I have four brothers and four sisters in my family who, at the time, were very far from God. They lived with their boyfriends/girlfriends, weren't attending church, some alcoholics living an undesirable life. In the 1990's, we attended a Marian conference in Notre Dame, Indiana. While there, I spent time in prayer at the Grotto. I told God, "Here I am Lord, what is it that you want from me?". After prayers, I went back into the conference to pray the rosary. We were asked to spend time thanking Mary for being with us and for praying for us. During this time, I also prayed for my brothers and sisters who had fallen away from Christ. Then instantly, I fell into what was similiar of a tunnel...and in my heart, not my ears, I heard a voice say, "Your family will attend the next Marian Conference"....I questioned the voice, saying, "How can this be? They are so far from Christ!" The voice said to me, "Through you, they will come...." Then all of a sudden, I was aware of my surroundings and I looked to my husband and asked him if he heard anything. He said, "no". Then I explained what happened. My parents were also at this conference but sitting with their group of friends in another section. I ran to them to tell them the good news! But I was crying and asked my dad how I can do this because my family and I hardly talked to each other. Dad suggested we all pray & fast for a few weeks. When I was ready, we called a family meeting. I explained to my family my love of the Lord. I told them of Medjugorje, which they knew through my parents, but didn't believe at the time and they often mocked them. I spoke of the love God has for them and begged them to please consider their lives to live them better for God. I invited them to come to the next conference, which was in Rosemont, IL. God gave me the means to pay for all of them to attend this conference. 8 out of 9 of my brothers & sisters came. My youngest sister did not come because it was the same weekend as her 21st birthday and she had other plans. The siblings that came really enjoyed the weekend. Since then, My brothers went to confession for the first time in 10 yrs. One brother who had an ailing back was healed during the Eucharistic Adoration Procession, My brother who was healed from his back returned home and eventually married his girlfriend whom he lived with for 13 yrs and also baptised his kids. My sisters became Eucharistic ministers, lectors, and volunteers in the church, my younger brother joined Knights of Columbus, visited the shut-ins with Communion, the list goes on and on....Many years have passed now and most are still very involved in church. Though some still battle alcoholism, they still attend church despite this affliction. My brother who had married, ended up in divorse, because this marriage was not of God's plan. He remains single today but is active in his church. I no longer am part of the Medjugorje Prayer group because I had relocated, raised kids, and had many things happen over the years. Today, I'm still very involved in my church as a 1st grade Sunday school teacher, and volunteer for fun night and movie night with our church youth. My husband and I made a Cursillo two yrs ago and we are active in this. My 18 yr old daughter is a 5th grade teacher assistant and my 12 yr old daughter and 10 yr old son both altar serve during Mass. My husband taught Confirmation class last year. We all serve God in one way or another. I am still a source of encouragement for our families and I pray every day that God will reveal His will in my life. I pray I am able to resist temptation and not cloud my life with things that get in my way of serving God. I also pray for the world in the same way. God bless you all.
Lord, thank you for working in the garden of my soul. May my harvest be bountiful for you and the people around me.