July 9, 2014: Part 1–I Phoned My Oldest Daughter Today

~by Louis Templeman

I phoned my oldest daughter today. She has been in chronic pain for years and lately has been confined to a wheelchair, bed or to an otherwise sedentary life. She gets out now and then but afterward she pays the price in hours or days of recovery time. She actually sounds upbeat when you speak with her as if she has found a way emotionally to accommodate the misery and inconvenience of it all. A good personality helps – particularly those of us who love her. Her attitude protects us from the full nature of the torment she endures.

She has filled my thoughts, fears and hopes for several weeks now. I am helpless to do any more than talk, listen or pray for her. My prayers feel so inadequate. I cannot say that I have gotten a lot of help from God, in Jesus name or anyone else’s, from physical problems – medical, employment, marital, etc. no matter what formula or posture I employ. I would get comfort. I would get perspective. I would get a “No,” with consolation in a spiritual or emotional way. All the answers I found were wonderful, and I received all with gratitude. But, never did a pain go way, or an ache end, and never did I get rescued from a situation, I always found strength to go through. But, this chronic pain for my child I find intolerable.

I told Spring that I was praying for her, or rather was asking for someone else to pray for her. I never had success with Jesus in this area so I decided to go “over his head.” The old prayer to Mary says, “never was it known that anyone who asked for your assistance, sought your help or pled for intercession was ever left unaided.” In my prayers I go through my paces with my rosary, or in my imagination I hold Mary’s hand and ask for the impossible. I believe her prayers will avail. Mine don’t have to. In the face of such painful heartache I am not able to be tough and exhibit the courageous faith that will cause heaven to burst into real time. Sometimes it is better if I can run to my Mommy.

Too few are aware of just how Mary can and will bring heaven’s touch to a world in need of help. This morning, first day of May the traditional month of Mary, I read of Mary’s many apparitions in Rwanda occurring years before the genocidal war between the Tutsi and the Hutu people that left hundreds of thousands murdered in a river of blood in 1994 and 1995.

The first apparition was on November 28, 1981.Alphonsine Mumureke, a high school girl, reports seeing an indescribably beautiful woman. She spoke to her in the local language, Kinyarwanda. Mary introduced herself as the “Mother of the Word.” She taught her a prayer she was to sing:

Queen of Heaven and Earth,
Mother of God and Mother of ours,
Listen to those who call upon you,
Help them to know God better . . .
You know how easily we get lost
We need to know the true way,
The way that Jesus taught . .  .
There are those who don’t understand
Why Jesus wants us to follow him,
Pray for them and pray for us,
That we may know his will and believe his words.

The high school girl was met with some skepticism but she was validated when other girls began to receive similar apparitions. The second child, a year older than Alphonsine, was Nathalie Mukamazimpaka. The Blessed Mother stressed the need for redemptive suffering and the need for unceasing prayer. Her world, she said, was caught up in evil and hovered over the brink of an abyss.

A third child, Marie Claire Mukangango, also received visions of the lady whose “beauty is as great as her love for her children.” Through Marie Claire came the instructions to repent, pray the rosary as well as the chaplet of the Seven Sorrows of Mary.

On August 19, 1982, all three experienced the same vision simultaneously. They reported seeing “a river of blood, people who were killing each other, abandoned corpses with no one to bury them, a tree all in flames, bodies without their heads.” Marie Claire was killed in a massacre in 1995.

In these apparitions Mary is referred to as Our Lady of Kibeho. I first read this story in Led By Faith by Immaculée Ilibagiza. Even though her warnings were not heeded at least the good was presented. The grace was offered. Mary’s role is to lead us to Christ, wholeness and a better life.

Mary has appeared throughout twenty centuries in apparitions, visions, dreams and in simple individual prayer experiences and epiphanies. It seems she come when we are at the end of our rope. We reach out for her help instead of falling into frustration and doubt-filled tears. I know the arguments against this. I grew up a Protestant. But, my personal pilgrimage led me here. Without her I would have become a bitter shipwreck.

I know I can place Spring in her hands; and good will come of it. A good will come that would not have otherwise. Jesus said to the world as he hung upon his cross, “Behold your Mother.” Embracing that truth in my heart I hold my child to her and say, “Behold our daughter.” Mary will help.

~Louis Templeman

Louis writes from Jacksonville, Florida where he lives with his old friend and wonderful bride, Joy. They transformed their friendship into the sacrament of marriage on August 30, 2012. They share their home with two self-absorbed, playful, twin cats (Flo and Jet) and one very allusive and arrogant cat named D.

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