Wednesday, June 3, 2015

We Were Once All Commuters: Chapter Five

The sky was bright and the air was fresh. Jake's eyes opened, and although he couldn't see right away, he could smell roses and felt the gentle touch of a woman's hand caressing his cheek.  She held him close under her mantle as she had many before him, including her own son.  The woman had many children and hoped for more.  She loved all men, but especially children.  Children were innocent.  She recognized, unlike many moms and dads, that all children are good although they may have bad moments, just bad moments, nothing worse.  Children, however, may learn perpetual poor behavior when given a poor example by the adults in their lives who failed to educate them in charity or when acting in pride.

The woman was truly a beautiful creation; she was as pure as gold, inside and out.  Her hair was dark brown. It fell upon her shoulders in loose curls, and her eyes were as blue as the ocean.  Her touch was soft.  Her demeanor was humble yet strong and confident.  Like most mothers, she rescued him and held him, hoping to warm his body and bring him back to life.  Hope?  What is hope if not a positive desire for the good.  Well the woman is hope.  The woman has been hope to many, and today she is Jake's hope for life.

As Jake's eyes cleared he saw her face. He too noticed her beauty, and he could feel her love for him.  He tried to speak.   He couldn't say a word.  His eyes looked into hers, and he felt joy for the first time in is life.  Jake knew she loved him.  He knew that she only sought to restore him back to life.

Jake loved her.

Behind the woman was the sun, bright and warm.  The sky was blue and the air was fresh.  The scent of roses brought him peace.  The choir of angels sang a beautiful song, "Ave Maria, Gratia plena..." He understood now, as he came to his senses, that he lay beneath the mantle of Our Lady, the Mother of God.  He was in heaven.

He clung to her as a babe hoping she would never let him go.  She promised never to leave Jake; she would always be watching over him.  She prayed for his safety and the safety of all mankind.  She explained how she desired Jake to discipline his passions so as to be more mindful of his friends and family and to avoid placing himself and others in harms way.

"You have a long life to live in service to my Son," she explained and requested that he say an Our Father every morning and a Hail Mary each evening.  Jake agreed.

She said, "I love you."

Jake, with tears in his eyes replied, "I love you, too." He continued in all love and sincerity, "I Shall love Our Lord as you have loved me, and I will do as you as have requested."

The beautiful woman reached out to Jake, took his hand and kissed his forehead.  She said, "Laddie is waiting for you."

A brief side story:
Count Ghisallo, while traveling near the village of Magr├ęglio, was attacked by highway bandits. Spotting an image of the Virgin Mary at a roadside shrine, he broke away from his attackers and ran to it and took refuge; He plead for Our Lady's protection - and was miraculously saved from the robbers.
As the story spread, the Madonna del Ghisallo became known as patroness of local travelers. In more recent times, cyclists often stop to rest and pray at the chapel, which is a local landmark at the top of a steep hill. 

After World War II, Father Ermelindo Vigano, pastor at the shrine, proposed Ghisallo as the site of an Italian shrine for bicyclists, and she was given as patroness of cyclists on 13 October 1949 by Pope Pius XII. The chapel has become equal part religious shrine, part cycling museum, with artifacts and photos from the sport. There is an eternal flame burning there in memory of the cyclists who are no  longer with us, and Masses are said each Christmas Eve and every Feast of All Souls to commemorate them.

Til Jake returns to Laddie, I will see you on the road.  Madonna del Ghisallo, Pray for Us.

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