Favorite Prayers To St. Joseph,  a little booklet filled with powerful novenas and prayers to a saint who is as potent -- and as faithful to us -- as he is hidden and underrated. We urge more attention to this great saint, who so quickly responds when we call for his aid. Prayers to obtain special favor,  purity, for difficult problems, for dying persons, conversion, ancient prayer. CLICK HERE

From the archives:


There are a lot of names for the Blessed Mother, but how about "Our Lady of Surprises"? There's actually a prayer invoking her help under this title (see below), and why not? God often works most powerfully through surprises.

Haven't you experienced this? You want something and you want something and you want it -- you pray endlessly -- and nothing occurs. When you let go, a bunch of surprises fall upon you.

Look at the surprise of Jesus multiplying the loaves or cleansing men of disease or the surprise of the first disciples at Lake Gennesaret. After a hard night of fishing, Jesus was suddenly there out of the blue to tell them where they should cast their nets. (They listened to what He said -- leading to an astonishing catch.)

He does this with us all. He sheds grace when we least expect it. When we're faithful and don't complain and don't try to tell God the way everything in our lives should go, He often responds with a flurry of the unexpected!

In meteorology there's a phenomenon of lightning known as the "blue giant." This is when a bolt travels dozens of miles, often striking a place even when there doesn't seem to be a cloud in the sky. It's literally a bolt from the blue. God's gifts can be like that -- when we allow Him.

It's another of those spiritual laws, that letting go lets God. We can actually inhibit the answer to a prayer by wanting something too much. That can tend toward lust, and God doesn't respect that. Or, it can signal a lack of faith. When we pray and then watch everything that transpires with a microscope -- waiting and biting our nails, doubting it will come -- the prayer often goes unanswered (or at least is delayed). It's like watching for the water to boil. It takes forever. 

Instead we're called to pray from the heart and then believe that the prayer will work if it's in God's greater plan for us. Be patient. When something isn't happening, let go of it. If it is not in God's Will, the yearning for it -- the obsession -- will soon fade, granting us peace. If it is in God's Will, He now has the room to operate.

A Christian author once said that in the afterlife we will see all the presents God had in store for us and how many never came because we didn't know how to ask for them!

The key word is "release." Release your desires to the Lord. Release all that is causing you anxiety. In prayer, go through everything that may be causing you angst -- and hand it over to Christ. Release your desire. Release all your fears.  This is very powerful in communicating with the Almighty One. Invite God to surprise you every day and no day will bore you!

And remember the Blessed Mother:

"O Mary, my mother and Our Lady of Surprises, what a happy joy you caused the wedding guests, when you asked your Divine Son to work the miracle of water into wine. What a happy surprise for them since they thought the wine had run dry. I, too, Mary, love surprises and as your child, may I ask you to favor me with one today? I ask this only because you are my ever caring mother."

Try it. Say that one from the heart.

You may be amazed -- surprised -- at what she brings you.

[resources: Mary Take Over]

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