Remember, O most compassionate Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection, implored your help, or sought your intercession was left unaided …
So begins a prayer to Mary, our Blessed Mother, known as the Memorare. It’s a prayer I’ve been saying morning and evening for years in the hopes of developing a closer relationship with Mary, but it just didn’t seem to have much effect – until this last month.
Let me share with you our ordeal that brought me to a closer relationship with Mary than I had ever experienced before.
My wife, Rose, has been battling high blood pressure for years and irregular heart rate more recently. Increasingly higher doses and strong medications were losing their effectiveness and in this last month it all went bonkers.
On August 1st, Rose underwent a Cardiac Ablation which is a procedure that’s intended to correct heart rhythm problems. A Cardiac Ablation disables cells in the heart that trigger an abnormal heart rhythm. She was discharged from the hospital that evening, and all seemed well.
But, within a few days, irregular heart rate with very high blood pressure was back and a whole series of Emergency Room trips to three different hospitals in Phoenix and several cardiac procedures followed over the rest of the month.
Over the course of that time, she received three Synchronized Cardioversions which is a procedure where a small electric current is applied to the heart at a specific moment in the cardiac cycle to stop an irregular heart rhythm. They had only brief improvement. Then, more and different cardiac medicines; some with adverse reactions, most with limited improvement. Another Cardiac Ablation procedure – still no improvement. Finally, on August 23rd, she received a pacemaker.
What is “packed” in these few sentences are the days and days of Rose enduring exhausting heart activity, one medicine after another, sedation that was undereffective and several “successes” that proved to be only short-lived.
I was with Rose throughout it, but all I could do was be present for her, be supportive and pray. And I never prayed so intently and for such a long time before. There were more rosaries than I could count. I lost track of the hour, the day. Which Mysteries of the Rosary am I to meditate on; where did I leave off? Hours ran into days that all seemed to run together. After a time, I was “rosaried out” if there is such an expression. Was I being heard?
So many times I’ve said to others that God hears and answers every prayer, in His own time and manner. And yet, here I was asking “am I being heard?” Then, the Memorare came to mind: Remember, O most compassionate Virgin Mary …
I don’t know what hour of the night it was, or even what day it was. But a sense of great calm came over me; I sensed that Mary was there. No vision, no audible words, but Mary was there. She said, not in a stream of words, but in a whole idea gently deposited all at once in my heart:
You are not helpless, I am here. You need to trust in Jesus. For He has given great means and skills to mankind to deal with what your loved one is experiencing. These great advances are gifts of God, although many are foolish enough to think that they are of their own making. You are not helpless; you have been heard. This will be difficult; but have patience and trust.
I wasn’t startled; I didn’t look around for “who said that?” I was just very quiet. Her message touched me with a directness spoken in kindness that was just what was needed. A closeness to Mary that I had sought for years was suddenly there. God was with Rose in the way she needed, and Mary was with me in the way I needed. What wonderous love is this. From that point on, the whole character of my prayers changed from near pleading to great thanksgiving. My Rose will be well.
I have said so many times in the past, with great conviction, that God hears and answers every prayer, in His own time and manner; and now I have a very personal experience to speak from. Sometimes God responds to us directly, and there are times when He sends Mary. This was one of those times. “Behold, I send my messenger” [Mal 3:1].
I can confidently say that if one of your loved ones is faced with such an ordeal, whether it’s medical, or mental, or addiction, whatever – you are not helpless. Be present for them, be supportive of them and pray. And, I offer you the Memorare prayer, may it bring you closer to Mary, our Blessed Mother.
Remember, O most compassionate Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection, implored your help, or sought your intercession was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my mother; to thee I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in your mercy hear and answer me. Amen.
‘Till next time,
Dcn Bob Evans
September 2, 2019
P.S. Rose is recovering well, getting used to her pacemaker and trying to be left-handed for a while. (Her right arm is in a sling for a month.)
My book, Walking the Parables of Jesus is now in print and is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Go to: http://enroutebooksandmedia.com/walkingtheparables/
ALSO: on that same site, scroll down a bit and listen to the podcast of my interview with Ray Gerard of WCAT Radio in St. Louis.