This entry is about my obsession about being Catholic, and my favorite 3 Day Novena to Mary which is never known to fail.
I’m not a great Catholic – I should go to mass more. But I still love it! I love the ritual, the architecture, the incense, the study. I love quiet churches, the thinkers and philosophers. It has helped me keep my sanity as a parent, and has helped me instill depth, intelligence and concern for others in my children as they grew. Like an obsessive, Catholic-Italian mother, I still light holy candles when I’m worried. This is Catholic music – Angelicus Panis, sung by Pavarotti.
The tragedies and glories of humanity have been viewed throughout our modern history through this faith, for better or worse. For me, in terms of art, music and philosophy, it has been nothing short of endless wealth, free to anyone who wants to enjoy it. One of the little-known things about Catholicism is that it supports the concept that people continue to be active in our lives once they die. Catholics pray for those who have passed, and believe those who have passed on pray for us. And people who have died still intervene, visit us, and love us. This offers an amazing comfort to people who have lost someone they love, and it’s something I’ve believed for a long time. Many coincidences have happened which are clearly unexplainable – such as dreaming of my husband’s father (who died about a decade before I met my husband, so I never knew him). In the dream my deceased father-in-law kept repeating this bizarre hand motion – a strange way of pointing with 2 fingers – when instructing me to tie a tarp over a boat. I had no idea what I was doing or how to tie a tarp, so rather than speak, he continued the pointing with 2 fingers in this weird way. This happened three times, when finally when I asked him again for instructions, he lifted his hand to point, and I said, “I know, I know.. you’re going to point like this!” and I did the same thing, pointing like that. And the dream was over. I woke up my husband right away and said, did your dad do this kind of a hand gesture when he was describing something to you? And my husband’s eyes just welled up.
How can you fake that? I have only seen 3 photographs of my deceased father-in-law. I have no way of knowing what gestures he would use. And that’s something you forget about when someone passes away anyway – you forget those subtle, little motions or nuances.
That lucid dream still reminds me there’s more to life than what we see here. And when someone special in your life dies, it’s important to remember that maybe – just maybe – life continues, and they might try to let you know things are okay.
Read about Hannah’s death dream of her grandmother here. Cool story, lucid dream, and Hannah was able to describe many deceased relatives and see heaven.
Due to the horrific abuse suffered at the hands of various cruel priests, so many people assume that all priests are bad. That’s ridiculous. I’ve heard friends who are normal, intelligent people say this, and I’m still stunned. I’ve met some fabulous priests and nuns over the years who are and were strong, determined people to make a difference in the world, and offered their very freedom to do so. Most are very deeply dedicated to the religious life they’ve chosen. Sad that a few made it bad for so many.
I’m publishing my favorite novena. This always works for me. In an emergency, say the prayer once for 3 days straight. Then release your worries when done. Publish the prayer (that’s why I’m doing this). It has never, ever failed me.