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Devotions

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I truly meant to get this blog in for Halloween but didn't get it done. So here it is a little late.

Devotion to promises and instruction and prayers passed down from God through the apostles and other holy men and women are meant to help us live a good life. God wants us to love Him and to be dedicated to Him and to be happy and to prosper. He has sent His mother to ask us to pray and has revealed His Sacred Heart to St. Margaret Mary filled with promises including, “I promise you in the excessive Mercy of My Heart that My all-powerful love will grant to all those who communicate on the First Friday in nine consecutive months the graces of final penitence; they shall not die in My disgrace nor without receiving their Sacraments; My Divine Heart shall be their safe refuge in the last moment.” First Friday Mass and first Friday Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament was and is still a strong belief and devotion of my father. After all, a promise is a promise.

Halloween was always a big deal in our neighborhood because the houses were relatively close to one another and everyone knew each other and we could stay out late and still be safe. The emphasis was always on All Souls and All Saints days in our house but we were never kept from good old fashion trick or treating. As high school arrived, the tricks became more enticing then the treats. We would hang the occasional toilet paper on a tree or move “for sale” signs from one yard to the next but nothing really harmful to person or property, until …

I just had to be cool. My sister Donna and I had some friends to spend the night and we decided to throw eggs at our neighbor’s house. Newly built. Beautiful glass front doors. Nice people. We rode to school with the oldest of the four girls. We had gone home and at midnight decided to sneak out our bedroom window, across the roof, down the brick wall to the ground. My sister and I remained in the ditch as lookouts because we were chicken compared to the girls we hung around. We watched them and cheered them on as they methodically covered the panes with raw drippings. Suddenly, it was not the sound of eggs cracking but more like glass. Donna and I got a head start back to the house and straddled a ladder on the brick wall to get everyone back up to the roof and across to the window. Ellen’s legs were still hanging out when I heard our back door open. Ellen froze, half in and half out, while I watched my father get into his car and drive away. She scurried in and we watched as police cars arrived across the street. Who would have thought that what we tapped with a knife to crack could possibly have crashed the heavy, thick glass on those doors?

We promised one another not to talk about the incident at school. Then Donna and I spent several minutes explaining to our friends about dad going in the middle of the night to keep Jesus company in the Chapel. As if maybe taking time to explain my dad’s devotion to the Sacred Heart would somehow deliver us from evil. Or better yet, passing on the few promises we remembered would somehow allow us His mercy.

Lord, teach me to use the many prayers and devotions You have passed down. Help me to remember to promote devotion to the rosary and to Your Sacred Heart. You know I am easily tempted to fall from Your grace. Show me how to make up for my many shortcomings by praying to and spending time with You.
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