By Kate Anderson
Her garden looked nearly the same, but three years had changed everything. I want to rejoice in all the Glorious Mysteries that she and her Son have worked in my life as we celebrate the feast of her most beautiful body and soul being taken up into heavenly glory.
The summer of 2016 was one of roses. Not merely because my summer job between undergraduate semesters was alongside a talented florist. My Mama and I spent many an evening working in our parish’s Mary Grotto: Pulling weeds, watering flowers, and bringing restoration to this hidden beauty. Spiritually, it was also a season of deep growth. Preparing for my last year of college and wondering what the Lord wished to make of my life. Reading 33 Days to Morning Glory and learning how to receive Mary as my Mother through total consecration. And starting a 54-day Rosary Novena for my future husband.
On the Feast of the Assumption, August 15, 2016, I scurried with my prayer warriors to the Mary Grotto in the early morning hours before work. There, we completed the Rosary Novena, consecrated ourselves to Mary, and crowned Our Lady with four roses for the multitude of Mysteries she was so lovingly guiding us through.
Fast forward a year. College graduate. [Unsatisfied] bank employee. Single and searching for God’s Will. A-Rosary-A-Day was keeping the Devil away for sure—So many doubts about where I was headed! But something big was unfolding. A position opened in a nearby Catholic school. The prompting of a dear WINE mentor pushed me to jump at the opportunity. My interviewer told me he prayed to the Blessed Mother with every hire he made, and I assured him too of my prayers to Our Lady for his decision. Wouldn’t you know I was on my lunch break at another parish’s Mary Garden when he called to offer me the job?
Not three weeks in my role at this school, and a new friend pulled me into the hallway with a serious look in her eyes. Her nephew had been visiting from the East Coast over Thanksgiving, and she had a feeling the two of us might hit it off. Would I like her to pass my number along? Umm, yes please! Could this be the long awaited one I had prayed for through so many years?
God’s Will[iam] soon called. Unfortunately, I missed it. But we connected that night. And the rest has been a blur of phone calls, Skype book club dates, “marathon weekend” visits between the East Coast and Great Plains, and endless prayer. In June 2019, he made the move [Mid]West. And July 7th, the eve before the Feast of Saints Priscilla and Aquila—that holy couple who built up the early Church in the book of Acts—, he asked for the privilege of walking me to our forever Home. (Our Lady and her Son pouring out grace upon grace as we stood amid flowers and family outside St. Michael’s, Rosary in hand.)
The next weekend, back at my home parish for a dear friend’s wedding, we asked my hometown priest to bless my ring and our engagement. I’m still not sure if Our Lady or me was more joyful when Father agreed to do the blessing in the Mary Grotto, where it all began.
I can’t explain why God would answer our prayers or write our story as He has done thus far. I pray that your own faith and hope might increase as you too ponder God’s faithfulness in the story of your soul.
Life began in the Garden of Eden. Jesus’ last hours were in Gethsemane’s Garden. And the Risen Lord appeared to Magdalene outside the Garden Tomb. Whether your garden is springing up with new life or looking a little barren these days, our God is in the business of making all things new.
Let us offer Our Lady, the Mystical Rose, a gift and make St. Maximillian Kolbe’s words our own: “I see Mary everywhere and difficulties nowhere.”
About the author:
Kate Anderson is a young lady with an old soul. She spends her days communicating and marketing for a Catholic school. Kate enjoys conversing with kindred spirits over warm beverages, reading spiritual books, and returning to her rural roots.