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Mar 07, 2020 1109 Mary Therese Emmons, USA
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Finding the Anchor of Hope

Have you found peace amidst the storms of life?
Here’s an anchor that will keep you from drifting!

Countless trials and misfortunes have beset me and I have experienced more suffering than I ever thought it possible to bear. It seemed that every time the darkness would begin to lift, another calamity would befall my family. These life-changing, heartbreaking and even financially devastating hardships seemed relentless. The stress, anxiety and fear I felt was overpowering, very nearly debilitating. At times, I felt I was losing hope and maybe even my mind.

Many mornings, I was so overcome with hopelessness that I longed to pull the blankets over my head and hide from it all. While at night, tears would sting my cheeks as I cried myself to sleep, ceaselessly praying for help and guidance.

Suffering Not in Vain

In these difficult times, I was comforted by Saint Ignatius Loyola: “If God sends you many sufferings, it is a sign that He has great plans for you and certainly wants to make you a saint.” These words never failed to remind me that earthly sorrows are not in vain.

In the midst of my afflictions, I found my strength and that was prayer—constant and confident prayer. My precious string of hope, my rosary, never left my hands. The faint bead imprints on my skin were a visible sign of my devotion to our heavenly mother. Saint Padre Pio once stated that holding the rosary was like holding our Blessed Mother’s hand—and I desperately clung to her tender hand daily, like a child, her devoted, trusting child.

A Treasure Trove

As the Little Flower of Lisieux would affectionately say, “Mary is more mother than queen.” Her motherly heart longs to draw us ever closer to our loving God and the reward that awaits us in the next life. Prayer, especially the holy rosary, never fails to bring comfort and hope when I am feeling lost or disheartened.

For me, the rosary is truly a treasure trove of graces, giving strength and hope. Our heavenly mother has an immeasurable love for us all, and what better way to cluster around her? This form of prayer is abundantly rich in blessings, guiding me through the darkest of days, when despair was slowly engulfing me. Meditating on the mysteries draws my heart to heaven and reassures me that I am never alone in my sorrows.

Praying for the strength to face my trials, while simultaneously offering them up to our heavenly Father, brings me joy in the midst of my distress. I seek to imitate dear Saint Teresa of Avila who humorously responded to her afflictions by telling Jesus, “If this is how You treat Your friends, no wonder You have so few!”

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Mary Therese Emmons

Mary Therese Emmons is a busy mother of four teenagers. She has spent more than 25 years as a catechist at her local parish, teaching the Catholic faith to young children. She lives with her family in Montana, United States of America.

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