Sep 28, 2020 filed under Faith.

Our Lady of Medjugorje

November fifteenth will mark my thirtieth anniversary as a Catholic. That day in mid-November might have been just another sunny autumn day but for the night I learned to pray the Rosary.

In June of 1988, Lori, my future god mother, invited me to pray in Caldwell Hall Chapel on the campus of Catholic University in DC. It was opening night of a big Rosary Congress at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

Around 5:00 p.m., Lori called to say she was not feeling well and that I should go by myself. I thought, “What the heck, I love to pray. Sure, I’ll go.” Even though the thought of going solo into an all-Catholic room sort of gave me the creeps. All those rules. All that guilt.

The chapel was already full when I entered. As the murmur of prayer began, I knelt behind the back pew. Feeling out of my element, I was comforted by the rhythm of the prayers. I closed my eyes and listened intently so I could join in, since they seemed to be saying the same thing over and over again. Someone placed a finger Rosary in my hand. When I opened my eyes to see who had done it, no one was there. Slowly I began to repeat, “Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.”

I can’t tell you what happened that night, but this lifelong anti-Catholic had a Rosary routine from that moment on. I would kneel at my bed and pray it every night. I now recognize that the blasphemous thoughts and piercing doubts I experienced in those early days were demonic attacks, but Our Lady took care of them. I received a perseverance in prayer and an acceptance of my frailty that only seemed to bind me closer to my new friend and confidante, my Heavenly Mother.

I then read St. Louis de Monfort’s The Secret of the Rosary, which gave historical, spiritual and, you might say, scientific reasons for giving myself entirely to this God who had given his Church such a powerful mother.

Going strong
Thirty-two years later, I am too often guilty of prayers done to “check that box” so I can move on to what’s really important, namely, my to-do list. But despite the times I let go of Mary’s hand, I have never for a moment, since that powerful evening in Caldwell Chapel, stopped believing that the Rosary will save the world because it is the prayer that invokes, through his Mother, the power of the One who has already conquered the world.

The Rosary asks very little of us. It asks as much focus as we can bring to the fifteen minutes that we’re praying. And whatever we have to give is always enough. It’s said that what we give to Jesus through Mary, she places on a fine plate and adorns with decorations so that even if we give her the bruised fruit of our prayer, she makes it beautiful before presenting it to her Son.

That goes for our Rosary, too. We pray it the best we know how at the moment and Our Lady spruces up our efforts, giving them the fullness and dignity worthy of her Divine Son, who transforms them into the power that heals the world.

O my Jesus, forgive us our sins. Save us from the fires of hell. And lead all souls to heaven, especially those most in need of your Mercy.

Love always,

18 Responses to “The Night That Changed My Life”

  1. Ana María Fernandez

    I am so glad to read your experience, the way the Virgin Mary call us is a blessed. I was born in catholic family, my father died when I was 4 years old, I growing up with my half sister, in Guatemala City, my grandma is her mother, very curious but that the way I grown. She was very devotional and she teach me the way to pray the rosary, novenas, posadas etc. I did rosaries in my neighborhood every day different houses month of May and October, now I live in California for 35 years I am devoted to virgin if Fatima we have a group and pray together each Thursday, and every first Saturday of the month we pray at 5:00m after that have a mass, now for the pandemia we do at home same time together . It’s beautiful you convert to the Catholicism, and now you mis how rich we are. Thank you for share. And sorry I would like to share with you extend to much. ❤️

    • Rose Folsom

      Ana María,
      I am inspired by your devotion to Our Lady of Fatima. Joining with her in prayer, we are helping her to save so many souls through the Blood of Christ.
      God bless,

    • Anthea Piscarik

      Wow, such a powerful story, Rose. And I didn’t realize your god mother’s name is Lori, a character that remains with me as I continue with Book 2 of “The Miriam Chronicles.” May October, the rosary month, increase your graces!!

  2. Linda Hartzell

    What a beautiful testimony, Rose. May Our Blessed Mother continue to guide and keep you.
    As I write, I am reaching for my rosary beads…..

  3. Clare

    Rose, thank you! Your writing is a beautiful witness of personal story, deeply spiritual, motivational and a touch educational. I think it’s your best ever. I will say a rosary for your intentions. Jesus bless you.

  4. Terry Wollersheim

    Thank you for sharing your experience with us. I cherish the Rosary & began praying it each day this month for our country that He will heal our brokenness and peace to all. I, too, am a convert to Catholicism. I started a little Rosary pray group at my parish for people like me who wanted to learn to pray the rosary. We had to suspend our practice when the pandemic begin. Hopefully, we will be able to return to the group practice in 2021. The prayer brings such peace. ❤️??

  5. Rita

    Thank you. I’m teaching confirmation class about the rosary today. I was praying that God will give me the grace to do a good job. Your story what is an answer to my prayers.

  6. Joyce Miles

    Put all your concerns in the hands of God.He will direct your path graciously.
    God knows how much we can bear.

  7. Sharon Ann

    You are blessed with a generous spirit to share your heart and soul with us. What a powerful witness to the Lord. He knew we needed his Mother to be our Mother.

    Blessings upon your courage.
    Sharon Ann

    • Diane Upham

      My feelings exactly. What courage and intent Rose has, her words and yours Sharon Ann lift me up!!
      Yes, this personal story is one I will share with all that I know. It is a game changer for all that will listen and take it to heart.
      Thank you, thank you all.

      Love in Christ,
      Diane U

  8. Rosemary

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful story with us. I needed to hear that whatever I bring to my prayer time is enough. That is comforting, because I have times when I struggle to stay focused during prayer. God bless and thanks again.

  9. Patricia Friedhoff

    Thank you, Rose, for giving me hope that my prayers are not just bruised fruit.

  10. mary gonzales

    Wow!…that hit home with me…I needed to hear that…thank you