Thursday, August 17, 2006

The Mary Factor

The Southern Cross Catholic newspaper ran a fascinating article in the August 17 edition about the possible impact of the 54-day Miraculous Rosary Novena on the favorable outcome of San Diego's Mount Soledad cross controversy.

The 54-day novena is definitely the biggest cannon in any devout Catholic's prayer arsenal. It consists of 27 days of the Rosary in petition, and another 27 days in thanksgiving. As my mother explained it to me, you need to say the thanksgiving prayers whether you have received your favor or not. Talk about a leap of faith! But my mother is a huge devotee of this marathon prayer and has told me many requests have been granted to her soon after its completion.

Back to the Mt. Soledad cross. It seems a group of San Diego Catholics decided to make the 54-day Rosary novena to save the cross. They began on June 7, meeting at the cross to pray as a group on Saturdays and praying at home during the week.

The House passed a bill (349-74) on July 19, and on August 1, the Senate voted unanimously to transfer the cross to Federal jurisdiction. President Bush signed it into law on August 14, transferring the entire memorial site to the Department of Defense.

Do the math. The Senate vote came as the novena was ending. In the current U.S. Senate, a unanimous vote on anything, nevermind a religious symbol, is a miracle in itself.

Catholics are but one segment of Christians all over the country who were praying for the preservation of the Mount Soledad cross, and I believe that all prayers are heard. I'm not one to quibble about whose prayers are most powerful, either. But Mount Soledad, the Southern Cross article notes, was originally named for Our Lady of Solitude, a reference to the Blessed Mother keeping vigil on Holy Saturday for Our Lord's return.

To a Catholic girl, it makes sense that the Blessed Mother would be sure that Our Lord has a nice place to stay on her mountain top.