Editor's Note: Join me in welcoming Dr. Mary Amore to our CatholicMom.com contributors. She is the executive director of Mayslake Ministries and comes to us as an expert in liturgical spirituality. And, hey, she's also a mom! Enjoy today's story of God at work in her life. -SR
Up until 20 years ago, I was a stay-at-home mom, taking care of my two little children. Then God decided to call me out of the kitchen and into ministry. Over the course of the next 10 years, I earned two graduate degrees at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. I can say with great certainty that it was God’s plan for me to attend graduate school at CTU. Let me tell you why.
I grew up and have lived in the western suburbs of Chicago my entire life, and as a result I have been unfamiliar with the city. In fact, the very thought of driving downtown made me crazy, so I never drove “East of Harlem.” When I was faced with the prospect of driving down to Hyde Park and the South Side of the city for my graduate studies, I was beside myself with worry. While Hyde Park is a lovely neighborhood, it has no parking, so this factor added to my nervousness.
In an effort to help me begin my schooling, my husband, Joe, offered to drive me to school for the first few weeks, so I could learn the route and check out available parking. After driving me to CTU for two weeks, my husband told me that I had to either find the courage to drive myself or I would have to stop taking classes because he was going to lose his job!
In one last attempt to solve the lack of parking problem, we came up with the idea that perhaps I could try renting a parking space from a neighboring house by the school. So we created a flyer with this information and while I was in class, my husband’s task was to put these flyers in people’s mailboxes and we would wait for a reply. Surely someone would want to rent us a spot!
When I got out of class that day, I asked him how things went, and he said unfortunately there were no mailboxes he could access. There were only apartment buildings that required you to be buzzed in to enter. He then looked at me and said, “You will have to quit school. This is not going to work out. “
Devastated and dejected, I got into the car to go home, but instead of turning down the street that we normally took, Joe decided to drive down the alley behind CTU. To our surprise, there was a woman outside watering flowers on the second floor balcony of a three story apartment building adjacent to CTU. Joe immediately stopped the car and told the woman about my need to rent a parking space. By this time, we were both standing outside of our car, looking upward toward the woman on the balcony.
In reply to my request to rent a parking space, this woman looked down intently at me, and said, "I am a person of faith, and the fact that I am here today watering my flowers, when I should be at work, is a sign that I should help you."
The woman then told me that she had two parking spaces, and that I could have one for free. Upon hearing such astonishingly good news, I was so excited that I yelled to her, "Thank you, ‘you are my guardian angel!”
She quickly replied, “What did you just say?” Then she leaned over and picked up a book that she was reading. It was entitled, My Guardian Angel. The woman’s name was Jodi Martinez.
The following Tuesday, when I drove myself to school for the first time, the date was October 2, the Feast of the Guardian Angels. From that day forth, and over the course of the next 10 years, I parked in that sacred spot, yet I never saw Jodi again.
I often think about that encounter with my angel that day because Jodi Martinez saved me from having to quit graduate school. God had a plan for me, and in spite of my fears, and my husband’s belief that I would have to drop out, that was not meant to be. I believe that God sent Jodi Martinez into my life at that moment, on that day, so that God’s plan for me could unfold.
What stories do you have of how you have encountered angels in your life?
Copyright 2014 Dr. Mary Amore
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