Skip to comments.Mary Answers Our Prayers: (Bud Macfarlane and Family Prayer)
Posted on 03/04/2003 10:23:26 AM PST by Pyro7480
Mary answers our prayers
Perseverance in praying the Rosary taught the Macfarlane family to expect answers.
by Bud Macfarlane, Jr., MI
During my senior year at the University of Notre Dame, I taught another student how to pray the Rosary. Her name was Christi "Bai" TePas. Along with several friends, Bai and I consecrated ourselves to Mary Immaculate on Dec. 8, 1983.
Then, I lost track of Bai after I graduated. She spent the next seven years praying the Rosary every day to find a husband. And as Providence would have it, he turned out to be me!
In 1990, we were reunited and got married on Dec. 8. We consecrated our marriage to Our Lady, and our life together has been a spiritual adventure. In fact, just as perseverance in praying the Rosary brought us to the altar, so it became the foundation of our family prayer life and our work as lay apostles.
Let's fast-forward 12 years. God has blessed us with four sons. I wish I could say our family Rosary is a peaceful spiritual experience, but it rarely works out that way. Our boys are like all boys: energetic, good-natured, and given to struggles with each other and their own still-developing wills and virtues. This is a delicate way of saying that they're wild and warlike little men in the great Macfarlane tradition of our Scottish forebears.
Not surprisingly, our family Rosary time is often a struggle against distraction. We pray the Rosary as we put the boys to bed amidst endless squirming, frayed young nerves, and our own fatigue as hard-working parents.
Nevertheless, our sons have fallen asleep every night of their lives, from their time in the womb (for scientists have proven that unborn babies can hear what's going on outside) until this very day with their parents' and brothers' prayers of love to Jesus and Mary in their ears.
I believe Jesus gives us more grace despite these distractions. My wife and I do not have the luxury of meditating peacefully as we pray with Our Lady, but her faithfulness to us is what really matters. Besides, I doubt anybody in the Vatican will be considering canonizing me as an example of mystical contemplative prayer.
Daily persistence in family prayer is a widow's mite every family can offer God -- and this is just one lesson my sons learn as brothers of Christ and sons of Mary. We have learned, for example, to share the sublime joy of experiencing the sweetest fruit of our "spiritual labor." That is, our prayers are answered, sometimes after years of intercession.
We Macfarlanes have witnessed miracles great and small in the lives of our friends and relatives many times over. Unemployed fathers find jobs. As we did, our friends find spouses. Houses are sold. The lukewarm and fallen away are converted. No one will ever be able to convince my sons that prayers are not answered. Long after others have given up, my sons will know to keep praying.
Our Lady is teaching my sons other important lessons. Battles for souls begin and end with prayer. Family prayer is powerful prayer. Our Lady loves us not just as individuals, but as a family. And through the mysteries, my sons learn about Jesus -- that He was a little baby and a little boy, too.
They learn that Christians proclaim the kingdom of God without fear -- that if you want to save souls like Jesus, imitate His suffering. When the crosses of life knock you down, you get back up because that's what Jesus did. Our boys know that the Resurrection will come, and when it does, we will be with the Queen of Heaven, Mary, because she is the Queen of the Macfarlanes, too.
This is what is happening inside my sons' souls in the order of powers and principalities, despite the distractions, when the Macfarlanes pray together every night. Mary taught her Son these truths when He was a boy, and she is now teaching our sons -- and their parents -- these same lessons.
We also pray five 54-day Rosary novenas each year as a family, beginning or ending on the same five prominent feast days -- along with many thousands of friends and benefactors of our lay apostolate, the Mary Foundation, which sponsors these powerful novenas. My sons are learning that our family prayer can be joined with the family prayers of others in the Mystical Body of Christ.
We've distributed hundreds of thousands of free Rosary tapes and CDs over the years through the Mary Foundation, which my wife is fond of referring to as "our only daughter." I always take consolation that Bai's lovely voice, which I enjoy every night, leads the first decade of the Rosary on the tape, although few listeners realize this. My sons and I are happy to share!
Which brings us to last October. Because of my work, I had heard the rumors about the new Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary through the Internet grapevine. It was with great pleasure, then, that my wife shook my shoulder to wake me on Oct. 17, holding up a printout of the Pope's announcement. It was a beautiful beginning to a beautiful day for our family.
Amidst all the excitement, many folks missed that Oct. 16 -- the day the Holy Father proclaimed the Luminous Mysteries -- was a big day for him personally because it marked the start of the 25th anniversary year of his election as Pope.
When my wife woke me on Thursday morning, it was also a big day in the Macfarlane home. Our third son, Xavier Aquinas (no pressure with that name!), turned 5 years old on Oct. 17. Our family tradition is to have our 5-year-old begin leading the first mystery of the family Rosary each and every evening -- until the next son turns 5, at which point the older boys all jump "forward" to lead the subsequent mystery. Xavey was excited by the cake, the presents, and the prospect of leading all of us in the new mysteries later that evening. As it turns out, Thursday is also the day of the week Pope John Paul II recommended for meditating on the new mysteries, which focus on the public ministry of Jesus.
As if to add to Xavey's papal birthday gift, Oct. 17th is also the day that my family begins our favorite 54-day novena. Why is it our favorite? Because of the feast day on which the novena ends. So when Xavier led us in "the Baptism in the Jordan" -- christening the first Macfarlane family Rosary on the Luminous Mysteries, the most important new development in the most popular Catholic devotion in the world -- we were also beginning a novena that ended this past Dec. 8, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. Our little son had just led us in prayer to our 12th wedding anniversary and the 19th anniversary of my wife and I consecrating our hearts to Mary Immaculate!
There was another Macfarlane anniversary on Dec. 8, 2002. Our second child, whom Bai miscarried on that day, would have been 9 years old. The Macfarlanes echo our Holy Father's motto: we are all yours, Mary, and all that we have is yours, on earth and in heaven. We have the anniversaries and the birthdays, sufferings and joys to prove it.
Even though our family Rosary that evening came with the usual distractions, Xavey nailed his decade like a veteran. I'm sure Our Lady was smiling upon us on that mystically beautiful evening, and she confirmed to us that Xavey is a natural born leader. Twenty years from now, I'm sure Xavier and other Macfarlanes yet to be born will be offering their lives to Our Lady and praying the family Rosary. Perhaps one will be writing an article for this magazine.
Bud and Bai Macfarlane and their sons pray the Rosary together while spending time homeschooling, skiing, and hiking in Ohio and New Hampshire. Bud is the director of the Mary Foundation, the world's largest producer of Catholic audio tapes, and is one of America's favorite Catholic writers with over 700,000 novels in print. Free copies of his books or tapes are available at www.catholicity.com.
Thanks for this clarification. Also, see my explanation in my post above (#8).
Same here! My collection of Mary Foundation tapes and novels have been a wonderful method of evangelization. I try to follow their Rosary tape on either my morning or evening commute, and I've distributed dozens of their other tapes (my favorite is "The Mass Explained" by Fr. Larry Richards) to friends, family and the couples we meet when teaching NFP.
No the question is why do so many dishonor the Son of God thinking that He cannot answer for Himself? If He is the Creator God of the universe (John 1, Col 1), and He hears our every prayer, knows our thoughts and needs before they are even uttered, why interpose Mary into the process?
Judaism teaches in the Ten Commandments to "honor your mother and father." Jesus was raised in this environment (even though He was God and already knew this law). Since He was without sin however, He was still obedient to them. Do you think that this suddenly ended when He entered into His kingdom? He didn't suddenly become just divine. He still honors His mother and foster father even in Heaven.
This is almost too much of a stretch to acknowledge. I guess the debate should revolve around the word "honor." "Honor" doesn't carry with it the sense that if Mary asks something for you that Jesus is more beholded to her than he is to us, and would therefore more readily answer it.
She answers prayers in the sense that she "has the ear" of her Divine Son in Heaven. When Catholics and Orthodox Christians pray to Mary, we ask her to act as an intercessor, because "all ages will call her blessed" (Luke 1: 48). This is the duty of a mother of a king (the Queen Mother), to act as an advocate for the people that He rules.
First, the title "Queen" is applied by implication...there is no scriptural warrant for this.
Second, there is no scriptural warrant for saying that Mary acts as an advocate for us. The Scripture say that we have AN ADVOCATE, and it is Jesus Christ the Lord; it doesn't say we have two advocates: Mary to Jesus, and then Jesus to the Father. This is extra-biblical nonsense that compounds the process of prayer.
Come back home, Steven. ;o)
Are you stalking me? :-)
Who ... me? ;o)
So "honor your mother and father" means "treat them exactly the same as anyone else?"
How does one dishonor God in Holy Trinity when one turns to the Mother of the Son for help in their prayers? You have prayed in a group before, haven't you, for "where two are gathered in My Name, I am there among them." How does it dishonor Jesus to turn to the one who is closest to His own heart, His mother? I'm not following your argument.
First, the title "Queen" is applied by implication...there is no scriptural warrant for this. Second, there is no scriptural warrant for saying that Mary acts as an advocate for us. The Scripture say that we have AN ADVOCATE, and it is Jesus Christ the Lord; it doesn't say we have two advocates: Mary to Jesus, and then Jesus to the Father. This is extra-biblical nonsense that compounds the process of prayer.
What's your point at the beginning? The word "Trinity" doesn't appear in the Bible, but most Christians believe in that doctrine, for Jesus said to baptize "in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." Note what Jesus says here. He says "in the name of...," not in the names of..., for They are One. It is by implication that we use the word "Trinity."
How can Mary be a "mediator" of prayer intentions, while Scripture says we one advocate or mediator? In 1 Cor. 3:9, Paul says that "We are God's coworkers." Why would Christ need coworkers if He is the only mediator? Paul also says "I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of His body, the Church" (Col 1: 24)." If we are united to Christ's sorrowful Passon on the Cross through our own sufferngs, we become coworkers in His redemption. What makes Mary a particular noted coworker is that she suffered much because of her Son's Passion, but stayed with Him all the way to the foot of the Cross. Everyone else, other than John the Beloved Apostle abandoned Him in His time of suffering. How "unbiblical" is that concept?
I'm sure people have asked you to pray for them and you do so. As Catholics, in addition to asking our friends to pray for us, we also ask the Blessed Virgin Mary and other Saints. Intercessory prayer is biblical.
What is the scriptural basis for this? Where does it say that those in heaven can hear your prayers, and have the ear of our Lord?
"When he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Along with their harps, the elders were holding vessels of gold filled with aromatic spices, which were the prayers of God's holy people."
"Another angel came in holding a censer of gold. He took his place at the altar of incense to deposit on the altar of gold in front of the throne, together with the prayers of all God's holy ones. From the angel's hand the smoke of the incense went up before God, and with it the prayers of God's people. Then the angel took the censer, filled it with live coals from the altar, and hurled it down to the earth. Peals of thunder and flashes of lightning followed, and the earth trembled."
And while I'm at it...........
"I saw the dead, the great and the lowly, standing before the throne. Lastly, among the scrolls, the book of the living was opened. The dead were judged according to their conduct as recorded on the scrolls. The sea gave up its dead; then death and the nether world gave up their dead. Each person was judged according to his conduct."
I read the article an we seem to be getting different messages. You perceive Bus and Bai Macfarlane as a Mary worshipers, I perceive them as a family uniting themselves to the mystical body of Christ.
Read the book of Revelation. Also from Psalms 103:20-21:
"Bless the Lord, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his word, hearkening to the voice of his word! Bless the Lord, all his hosts, his ministers that do his will!"
What is your understanding of the Communion of the Saints?
Mary, Queen of All Saints, pray for us.
Be sure to see the about face 180 degree turn this guy pulled on his family...