“Hail! Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, my Mother Mary, hail! At your feet I humbly pray and offer you a crown of blood-red roses, in remembrance of the passion of your divine Son. Each ten bound together, recalling to you a sorrowful mystery, with my petition for a particular grace.
Hail! Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, my Mother Mary, hail! At your feet I humbly pray and offer you a crown of royal purple roses, to remind you of your glories. Each ten bound together, recalling to you a glorious mystery, with my petition for a particular grace.”
These prayers begin the 54-Day Novena, well-known in the Catholic community. It is said to obtain a special favor from our Mother Mary. You pray 27 days of intention and then 27 days of thanksgiving for Mary’s grace in fulfilling your request. The thanksgiving prayers should be said even if your request is not granted because our Mother Mary is always working in our best interests on our behalf. I decided to start this novena this past Monday. To be honest, I feel I should already be saying the prayers of thanksgiving. Since the time the quarantine began, the Lord has provided several miracles in my life. The Holy Spirit has moved in ways I never imagined. I still am not sure exactly what their purpose is, but I have complete faith that the fulfillment of that purpose will be wonderful.
Over the last month, I moved from Connecticut to South Carolina. I was surprised the Lord called me to move so quickly since He led me to move to Connecticut just 4 months ago. This must be what happens when you say “yes” to the Lord. My life is no longer my own; I now should be in South Carolina. Looking back on my journey there, it has been unpredictable but also exciting. I have moved over 5 times in less than 3 years. I never thought I would move so often; I believed I would live in my hometown in Colorado forever. I also felt I would hate a life that required moving from one place to another. The miracle is that what I thought I would hate the most has brought me the most joy. Up till now, I have lived in fear of change, but instead, I embrace it.
In thanksgiving for all the blessings the Lord has given me even amidst all the uncertainty in this world, I decided to dye my hair again. I dyed it blue when I moved to New Jersey to celebrate the new changes the Lord granted to me then. The color blue was a symbol and a reminder of the love and care of Mother Mary. I’m sure it may seem odd to some that I would dye my hair as a sign of thanksgiving to Jesus, but I believe that as children of God, we all long to find creative ways to express our devotion to Him. The act of dyeing my hair is an outward sign of the love and trust I have in Jesus Christ. This time I chose red and purple for the colors to reflect the prayers of this 54-Day Novena. I pray it will be seen as my offering of deep red and royal purple roses to Mary and her son Jesus Christ. I have already seen how the Lord can use my hair to allow me to interact with and enter into His family. It has sparked conversation, and the conversations have created joy for both myself and others. I can feel the Holy Spirit working to inspire these conversations because I am an introvert and do not normally initiate verbal exchanges with people I don’t know.
Regardless of what this recent change means or what plans the Lord has in store for me, I am assured that a true adventure lies ahead. I owe everything to Him and will never stop offering everything I have in return to Him with thanksgiving.