Betty Duffy

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Some Divine Mercies

Out my back door the lilacs are blooming. Out the front door, a white cloud of blooms on the crabtree.

“Fragrant” is one of those words that makes me uncomfortable to say, but there’s no better word to describe how the wind blows into our bedroom window like an adolescent daydream.

The house is full of flowers, not only because my children pick any blooms that dare to show their faces, but because we went to a wedding this weekend, and my daughter caught the bouquet, and I had my own bouquet, since I was Matron of Honor, and we collected flowers from the table centerpieces, since we stayed after to help clean up.

Flowers in every room on Divine Mercy Sunday.

I thought the Shower of Roses was supposed to fall on October First for those who remember the Novena to St Therese, the Novena I always forget, even though she’s the Saint I chose at my Confirmation.

At the end of the wedding Mass, Father gave the new couple a blessing, “May you have faithful friends who support you in good times and bad.” This went along with the prayer for many children, and a long life together. I’d never caught this portion of the blessing before, as faithful friends for the wedded couple is a need I would not have foreseen back when I was having adolescent daydreams about marriage.


Last week, Pedge said to Irene and me. “I offered my Novena to Saint Joseph for your husbands. I hope you don’t think that’s weird.”

“Not weird at all,” I said. “I’m touched—what a good friend.” The tears started to well in my eyes; a faithful friend for the married couple.

Novenas all around, then. I would offer my Divine Mercy Novena for their husbands, and their Mamas too.

A friend of Irene’s mother recently died. She’d said a Novena right before Christmas, then wrote a note to her children saying, “All my prayers have been answered.” She passed away Christmas morning.

The bride at the wedding this weekend was the girl I sponsored coming into the Church last Easter. I’ve been able to stand next to her for every Sacrament she’s received.

Because the Groom was married to someone else when he met his new Bride, they wanted a very humble ceremony and reception. Because the Groom and the Bride fell together on their knees before the Divine Mercy of Jesus when they found their way to the Church, they chose to marry on the day before we celebrate the feast.

The mothers, maids, and matron decorated and tore down the reception. Flowers were purchased at Kroger the morning of the wedding. Maids wore their own dresses, whether they matched or not. And the couple requested that guests make donations to a pro-life cause rather than giving gifts.

“What are you going to do for her?” Pedge asked me the day before the wedding. The question took me off guard. What would I do besides envy the minuscule circumference of the Bride’s waist? Besides fluffing her dress and holding her bouquet while she exchanged vows? What would I do besides offering a grandiose toast at the reception, and seeing how many flowers I can snag on the way out the door? Isn’t the Bride supposed to do something for me? A little thank-you gift for my attentions?

I would offer my Divine Mercy Novena for the wedded couple too, and see how many people can benefit from one nine-day prayer.

For her Confirmation, the Bride chose Saint Therese to be her patron Saint. She chose it long before I told her that Saint Therese was also my Patroness. Both of us wear a medal of Saint Therese on a silver chain around our necks.

Can the Shower of Roses fall because a relationship that began in sin, made its way to Sacrament? Because a friend prayed for my marriage, and I prayed for a marriage, and my husband put his hand on my back on the dance floor, and pulled me close to fulfill a daydream that began in my adolescence? Or because two women asked the same Saint for a childlike faith? All my prayers have been answered, because the flowers in and around my house are not just a coincidence of the second week of April, or the fallout from a wedding. The flowers are the mercy of God. I believe it.


Melanie said...

Beautiful post.

Anne said...

I would believe that too. Beautiful! I can almost smell your flowers. I especially love the line about an adolescent daydream-great word choice! (I sound like my kids teacher for Pete's sake!) But this is truly wonderful!

BettyDuffy said...

Thank You!