Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Praying for the elections in a beautiful place...

During the US election week we were fortunate to get away for a week long holiday, to the Gold Coast. We decided to travel to Marian Valley in the Gold Coast hinterland on our Tuesday (Melbourne Cup day in Aus) to make a day long pilgrimage to pray for the US elections that were to be decided the next day, Australian time.

My precious little girl...

We had been praying the memorare prayer and "Mary, conceived without sin pray for us who have recourse to thee." as often as we could, to find a nice rhythm, we used our rosary beads, on each Our Father bead we offered a memorare, on the Hail Mary beads, the "Oh Mary, conceived without sin..."

Marian Valley has a magnificent outdoor Stations of the Cross which we followed and prayed along, it was the Stations of the Cross with a pro-life theme.

The day itself was overcast with a little rain and a little sunshine here and there. The valley itself was so beautiful. Here is the Jacaranda tree in full bloom.

We also decided to offer the 4 mysteries of the rosary after the stations of the cross, we would travel from shrine to shrine to do this.

Each scene is beautiful with a natural backdrop to each one.

Here are the children at the end of the stations of the cross, what a beautiful scene.

Just looking over at Padre Pio's shrine.

We had walked to the end of the valley until we reached the bushland, where we followed a track that took us to "Our Lady of the Southern Cross", at the base of a big tree in the middle of the rainforest.

Right next to this shrine is the entrance to the bush walk to the shrine of Our Lady of the Southern Cross.

Each shrine is different and beautiful, and this shrine is one of the valley's highlights.

As we gave out each decade in each mystery we would move to a different Marian shrine each time, here we are at Our Lady of Lourdes shrine.

Finally...to the beautiful shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, praying for the US elections.

A new shrine being built....what a beautiful statue.

Our Lady of Fatima shrine nestled in this corner of the valley..so lush and beautiful.

A closer shot...

Our Lady Help of Christians, pray for Australia, pray for the U.S!

Along the stations of the cross track, looking down at the Resurrection scene in the distance.

Looking back up at the stations of the cross track.

Such peaceful, natural scenes...a place of peace and serenity.

Slowly making our way back to the outdoors church.

As we came out of the rainforest, it had started to rain!

Looking into the church.

This beautiful valley, dedicated to Our Lady...

New shrines being built at present.

The children love this place, it is full of nature and signs of their faith, what a beautiful combinaton, what lovely childhood memories to create.

We had prayed and prayed this day and into the next waiting to hear the news, of course it was profoundly disappointing and my 13 year old wondered what had become of all those prayers?

These are the probing questions that children must ask. We ask them ourselves, quite often. Why? Only God knows why. But I do know that those prayers were not wasted, they are never wasted.

I remined my children that Mother Teresa had once said that it was important to be faithful, not successful.

Of course we want success but we rest trustfully in the fact that these prayers would help in someway, probably in many unknown ways. We will find out when in the next life and see the mysterious tapestry of life is turned over to reveal the beauty of grace and faith, the gentleness of being pro-life.

Something profound has come out of this time, I'll never be the same again. The beauty and peace of continual prayer is flowing over me. The desire to defend life with more vigour and passion is burning in my breast. I know that the prayers for life in the political arena needs to go beyond a short period of time. I know I must pray now and always for the future needs of the next election - at home and in the States.

Adoration Chapel...

History points out that we are not witnessing anything new in this ignoring of such a fundmental issue in the election just past...have you ever seen Amazing Grace? I think of the pro-life movement when I see this struggle against slavery and slave ships. Take heart though, this is unthinkable to us today. If you have not seen this movie, I recommend it.

On the topic of slavery, I believe it to be an enormous shame and scandal that a man (the new President elect) who has the rights he ought to have thanks to those in the past who fought for them, can then turn around and deny a new group of people their right to life. He made history because others shaped history for God's good and yet he turns around and denies the unborn an even deeper, more fundamental right. I cannot help but to think of the parable of the ungrateful servant. Matthew 18: 23-35.

People placed sanctions upon South Africa for apartheid. They basically said, 'we will not support you, while you hold that one thing in place.' One thing. A single issue. An important issue.

The world agreed this was the way to deal with a country that abused one basic right, nevermind they may have had other comendable attributes in their policies. And this is my point. If everyone treated anti-life parties in such a way, they would HAVE to change their policies. Carl Anderson the Supreme Knight of Columbus said that if all Catholics alone did just that, they would be forced to change. I mean, what other single issue holds greater gravity than the legal sanctioning of taking thousands of innocent lives every day???

We must continue to defend God's littlest ones, His precious children in utero, we must defend them against their oppressors, because Jesus said,

"What you do to the least of my brothers, you do unto Me."


Allison said...

What a beautiful family you have. Thank you for sharing!

Meredith said...

Wow, that was absolutely incredible, how blessed you all are! Hugs!

Leanne said...

I love your new post. I love the Marian Valley- yes what a beautiful place to be at this time in history. You say The Presidnt reminds you of the ungrateful servant. I have just read 'Job', and there is a section which Job 12:22-24- very much reminds me of what is hanppening now in the US.

Purpleflowerpatch said...

Anne, Elizabeth and I are sighing with sadness at missing this beautiful shrine when we were in Brisbane!
We had a big discussion this morning on the ramifications of Obama's election and how we need to step our prayers for the lives of the unborn. Thank you for sharing so eloquently!

Elena said...

What a blessing to be able to do what you did....

ps - I have your blog saved in my favourites and I do pop in at times to read the stories here - You have a beautiful blog.

Recently I was given an award - Premio Dardos - for my blog Precious Treasures and part of that award is to pass it on to other blogs. I have listed your blog as one of them. This is my first and it's probably an unusual thing here but I'd love to pass it on to your blog too if you're happy to accept it.

God Bless,

Marilyn said...

Anne - what beautiful pictures and what a beautiful post. I have missed your posts and have been waiting to see the pictures! Thank you for all your prayers for our country - we have to remember God is in control still.

Anne (aussieannie) said...

You are very kind Elena, we both share in the sorrow of last Tuesday but also in the burning desire to continue building a culture of life and faith for the future!

C said...

Hi Anne,
Oh how I miss Marian Valley! Hopefully over New Year we will be able to drop in during our holidays.
The photos were delightful! I grew up around there and remember those beaches very well.
I'm sure you all had a very lovely rest and are spiritually strengthened by those continuall prayers throughout the week. Maybe God is banking them up for future fights for the precious unborn - hey Jk? We are going to need a lot of grace.
You blog is a great way to have a nice break from the demanding needs of the day Anne, a refreshing breather with something always to be enlighten by.
Thank you & God Bless to all (and a little squeeze for blossom).
Love. C

C said...

Hi Anne,
Oh how I miss Marian Valley! It looked so beautiful and green. Hopefully we will pop in during our holidays soon.
Your photos were delightful! I remember those beaches well from growing up around there, it is very nice.
You all must feel much rested and spiritual strengthened from all those continual prayers said.
Maybe God is banking them up for future fights - hey Jk. We're going to need a lot of grace, and young Catholics with passion and fire in their bellies to battle on.
Anne your blog is a lovely way to take a spiritual and relaxed breather from the demanding needs of the day, with something always to enlighten. It's beautiful.
God Bless and love to all (and a squeeze for blossom). C