The Triumph of the Immaculate Heart

The moment was at hand. After 4 years of courtship, God made it clear

that it was time- I must ask Julie to be my wife. I began to pray about

what we could do to spiritually prepare ourselves for this moment (without

giving away the surprise of the Engagement). I already knew how I wanted

to do it – before our Blessed Lord in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel of the

Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC; a place

where I had made a pilgrimage shortly after my initial conversion with my

family 12 years previous). Team Orthodoxy(minus Brooke and with the

addition of another friend, Maggie) was attending a Christian Music

festival only a few hours from DC and hen planning to go to DC for a

couple of days. This was the perfect setting. However I knew that this

decision to become Engaged demanded a good preparation and so I prayed

about how to help ready Julie and myself. The more I prayed, the more I

felt a push toward the Consecration to Our Lady, developed by St.

Maximillian Kolbe, and in so doing, become a member of the Militia

Immaculata. This is a public association of the Faithful, dedicated to

Total Consecration to our Lady, promulgation of the faith, and the

overthrow of the enemies of the Catholic Church, through prayer, penance,

and evangelization. It is comprised of thousands of members from across

the Globe with members of the laity, priests, religious, and members of

many religious orders from Dominicans to Carmelites. So we spent the

prescribed time in preparation for the day of the consecration, praying

daily leading up to August 15th – the Feast of the the Assumption of our

Lady.

 

OUR LADY OF VICTORY

Looking back in hindsight, our trip was truly dedicated and focussed on

Mary. This was completely unintentional on our part, but I think the

Blessed Mother was orchestrating it in such a way to show herself present

to us. We began our Pilgrimage trip by visiting the Cathedral of Our Lady

of Victory in Lackawanna NY. We prayed the Litany of Our Lady of Victory

with the congregation after attending Mass and after a brief visit to the

gift shop, got on our way to Purple Door.

 

OUR LADY OF THE BLESSED SACRAMENT

After a weekend of going from stage to stage at the Purple Door Music and

Arts Festival at a Ski resort outside of Harrisburg, PA, we went to Sunday

Mass in Harrisburg at a parish named Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament

(which is a Marian devotion that St. Peter Julian Eymard fostered

greatly). Mary was stalking us for sure. Departing from there and after

spending a ludicrous amount of time navigating the Capitol of the United

States, whose traffic Mike compared to “driving with demonic three year

olds”, we finally made it to our destination.

 

THE IMMACULATA

The four of us found ourselves in a cramped hotel in the middle of

downtown Washington DC. Tired from a long few days, we decided to stay in

for the night because we still had 2 more days of busyness ahead of us.

Mike and I shared one room, and the girls were in the room beside us.

After dinner, we returned to the hotel to enjoy a night in. Being unable

to get to an open church as this was the night Julie and I were to

complete our Marian consecration, we set up a makeshift altar on a

dresser, with a crucifix and picture of our Lady on an iPod, draped in the

Vatican Flag which we used for an altar cloth. It was in this small hotel

room in Washington DC that our consecration to the Blessed Virgin began.

Mike just stood by to watch this occur. At the end of this powerful

Consecration prayer, we placed the Miraculous Medal around our necks, as a

sign of our total consecration to our Lady.

Personally, I felt almost an immediate revitalization of heart. My love

for God and our Lady grew in what felt like an instant, upon completing my

words of personal consecration. I felt ready to take on whatever was to

come in the future, and to do it not only beside my betrothed, but to do

it beside my fellow warrior in the Militia Immaculata. The two of us,

with our Lady, Queen of Heaven and Mother of Mercy, were now armed to

stand against the firey arrows that would fly our way to discourage us

from entering into the Sacrament of Matrimony, building a Catholic family,

and pursuing lives of holiness.

 

And the arrows came.

 

The morning came – the big day. “Where’s my toothbrush…my

toiletries…Where are they?” I asked in a panic. “I don’t know man”,

Mike replied. Turns out, my toiletries decided to remain at the hotel

in Harrisburg PA, to enjoy some much needed vacation. They wanted more

time by the pool, I guess. So, someone had to share their toothbrush with

me (John 15:13). God bless him. So off to a little rough start, but it

was only the beginning.

 

THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

Off to the Cathedral for Mass and to tour the 6th biggest Cathedral in the

world and of course to haul the bookshop. On the way there, my car began

to struggle. It began to hiccup and felt like the power in the car was

being drained. I pulled the car over to let it sit for a few minutes,

turned it back on and it worked. The car had just been checked before our

trip and had been given a clean bill of health, so something was up for

sure. We made it to the cathedral and went inside. We were incredibly

blessed as we were able to attend Confession, Eucharistic adoration, and

to attend the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. It was the perfect preparation.

As we made our way upstairs, my heart began to pound but an tremendous

amount of peace resided in my heart. I knew this decision to ask Julie to

marry me was one we were ready for, and that God wanted it. We finally

made it into the Eucharistic Chapel and well long story short, she said

“Yes”.

 

The engagement went without a hitch. The video can be seen here:

http://www.youtube.com/orthodoxyftw#p/u/13/QyDF_u0kIFw

 

However after that was all said and done, I found that I was without my

wallet. I couldn’t find it anywhere. However we had obligations across

the city and had to get there, so I left it in the hands of Mary and St.

Anthony of Padua (I would most likely be dead without this dude’s

intercession – real talk), and we got in the car (which started without a

hitch) and drove to downtown DC again to go to the International Spy

Museum. Our first activity there ended badly as our GPS guided city

Adventure failed due to the Satellite guide failing to work half-way

through the adventure. Afterward, we went for dinner with my roommate from

College and then began the trip home.

 

O Mary, conceived without sin,

Pray for us who have recourse to thee.

 

OUR LADY OF THE HIGHWAYS

Before we began to drive, we laid hands on the car and prayed for its

health (I can hear our strictly traditional readers saying “those crazy

Charismatics”). We got in the car and began our 3 hour drive back to

Harrisburg where we planned on staying the night before continuing our

journey the following day. We prayed the Rosary together as a group.

Upon finishing we began to joke about the car’s fiasco back in the city.

1.5 hours from DC and 2 hours from Harrisburg, in what was like a flash of

comedic timing, the car suddenly lost power and we found ourselves under

an underpass in the middle of nowhere, Maryland.

 

OUR LADY, HELP OF CHRISTIANS

Stuck in a whole other country, with a dead car, on the night of my

engagement, here we were – stuck under an overpass on the main highway

leading into DC known as the Capitol Beltway. Thank God our Canadian

Automobile Association membership had been renewed. Though, the people at

their call centre were about as smart as a log, 2.5 hours later a tow

truck arrived to take us to our hotel which, again to our surprise was not

in the city we were originally advised, but 45 minutes from where we were.

By the time the 4 of us got into the tow truck, we were in absolute

hysterics. Our driver was very charitable, and quite understanding. He

was laughing almost as hard as we were, just because we were in such a

deplorable state. “What else could go wrong?” we would ask, laughing as

we said it.

We finally made it to our motel, a run down Ramada Inn in Catonsville, MD.

Worn from a day of walking from altar to altar, grotto to grotto,

landmark to landmark, we packed into a two double bed room, the boys to

one bed and the girls to the other bed, as we only had a limited amount of

money we couldn’t afford two rooms. By this time it was after midnight,

and so we crashed.

 

OUR LADY OF PROVIDENCE

To be honest, my sleep that night was not great. Though I was extremely

tired, my adrenaline was pumping. I had been entrusted with the safety

and well being of my friends. I was the one leading this pilgrimage in a

way, so I needed help. “Blessed Mother, I need your help right now”. I

woke up early that morning. After making numerous calls, I found someone

who stated they had the part I needed and agreed to fix it today. From

here, I called AAA to have them take Mike and I to the garage with the car

to get it fixed. As the tow truck pulled up, another kind man welcomed us

and got our car onto the back of the truck. As we got into the cab of the

truck the driver asked where we were headed and then asked the most

important question, next to “Will you marry me” on this trip.

“Are you sure they have the part”, He asked.

“Well the guy I spoke to said they had…”

“Are you absolutely sure?”, he questioned.

“Well I can’t say for su…”

“You better call them” he said.

I called. Turns out, they never had the part in the first place. The

driver told us after I hung up the phone that garages tend to advise they

have something when they don’t, in order to milk as much out of you as

possible. He then said, “Let me make a call”. Sure enough he knew of a

garage that had the part we needed and that would bump us to first

priority because of our status with AAA. Who would think an alternator

would cost so much eh? Almost a Grand later, and a couple failed attempts

to get her going properly and returns to the shop, we were on our way.

It was too late to begin the trek home. As Julie and I both work for

Starwood Hotels and Resorts, and we did not want to sleep in a motel

again, we decided to look into the Sheraton Harrisburg, where we had

stayed the first couple of nights of our trip, to see if they could open

up an employee discount for us. Perhaps if they heard our story, they

could make an exception for us, as they had closed out the discount for

that night. Julie called, and to our great surprise, they opened it for

us. Spending less than we did at the Ramada, we were able to relax for

the night, go swimming, eat at Olive Garden, and rest up for the journey

home the next morning.

 

OUR LADY OF PERPETUAL HELP

After an incredible journey, filled with joy and tests of trust, we made

it. With smiles on our faces (most of our faces that is), full hearts,

and empty wallets, we were home. Newly engaged with a real story to tell,

we knew for a fact that God is always faithful, though He does take you to

the edge sometimes. In hindsight, we can see our Lady’s maternal care for

us from day one. The Immaculate Heart of Mary truly triumphed in that

pilgrimage. Though we had to go through all that we did, she took care of

us and carried us through it all. The Blessed Mother, after that small

time of exile, truly revealed a little more of the Blessed fruit of her

womb. I truly hope for more opportunities to grow closer to her like that,

so that in the end, I will be made a little more worthy of the Promises of

Christ.

 

In the Immaculata,

Chris

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About catholichris

I am an orthodox Roman Catholic twenty-something husband with a passion for spreading the Faith, especially within the social media sphere. I work with Team Orthodoxy (orthodoxcatholicism.com), a Catholic social media team, dedicated to the work of the New Evangelization, in full fidelity to the Holy Father, Pope Francis and the Magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church.

Posted on December 12, 2011, in Catholic, Catholic Clergy, chastity, Church Corruption and Renewal, Current Events, faith, Love, marriage, Orthodoxy, prayer, Saints, Testimony. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Love it! i’ve been waiting to see this all typed :3

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