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Today the Church calls us to the Memorial of the Our Lady of the Rosary. Make sure you find a moment to pray the decades of the Rosary today and reflect on how great a friend that our Blessed Mother Mary has been to us – her children – throughout the centuries. If you have never worked on building a friendship with Our Lady, or if you have been neglecting that friendship for some time, today I strongly encourage you to draw nearer to her through the Rosary! I promise that you will never regret that you did!
The cornerstone of true friendship is going out of your way to provide for you friend the things that they need most at the moment they need them. It is not about being there for them only when you want to be there – when it is convenient for you, or having someone to do fun stuff with, or having someone to gossip with, or having someone in your life to agree with you all the time.
Friendship is about being there for your friend during every season of their life; there to do the hard work; helping them carry their cross – even when your own cross is heavy; it is about being there with prayer in the midst of their tears; it is about sharing the highs and lows that this Life with the Cross has to offer us. Friendship is fun and rewarding, inasmuch as it is also very difficult and tiring at times.
There was a time in my life when I found myself temporarily homeless and it happened to be on a night that was very cold. I felt abandoned by God, and I found life not worth living if it had to be lived like this. Inasmuch as I felt like quitting life on that cold and lonely night, a deeper part of me wanted to find reason to live, to carry on, to not give up, so at 2am in the morning I called a friend who put her foot up my butt and prayed for me there on the phone, but what happened next is what I think mattered most.
After we got off the phone I didn’t feel much better. I was still cold, I still felt abandoned, and I still felt that God had just put a burden on me that I wasn’t able to bear. Then shortly thereafter a peace – a grace from God came over me that let me know that I was going to make it through that night and that special grace somehow calmed me to such a degree that I was able to get a little sleep underneath of the stars in 40 degree weather. My friend then called me the next day and told me that she had prayed a Rosary for me after we had gotten off the phone, and it was then that I knew that Our Lady (Saint Mary) of the Rosary had come through for me once again.
Time and time again in my life has the Blessed Mother’s prayers for me has made the impossible possible. Like the man in the story; she is both the friend that I go to for help and the friend who my friends go to for help. But unlike the other man in this story she is always available, accessible, and abundantly helpful – always ready to enter into intercessory prayer with us to her Son Jesus.
Prayer is an invitation for God to enter into the situation to do something. What inviting our Mother Mary to pray with us does is allow her to do what all true friends do; that is, to enter into the situation with us and help us cry out to God for help. The cry of one person to God is enough, but when two or more come together to cry out to God He is there in their midst.
Therefore, do not neglect the use of intercessory prayer with those here on earth or with those in Heaven. The cloud of witnesses, the Church in Heaven, full of our family and friends, is always accessible, available, and enthused to cry out to God with us. In addition, let us all do our best to be the type of friends that go out of our way for everyone in need. For it is one thing to be a friend to a friend in need, but it is even a greater thing to be a friend to a stranger or enemy in need.

The Memorare Prayer
Remember, O Most Gracious Virgin Mary,
that never was it known that anyone who fled to Thy protection,
implored Thy help or sought Thy intercession, was left unaided.
Inspired by this confidence,
I fly unto Thee, O Virgin of Virgins, my Mother;
to Thee do I come, before thee I kneel, sinful and sorrowful.
O Mother of the Word Incarnate,
despise not my petitions,
but in Thy clemency, hear and answer me.
Amen.