CRASHING INTO GRACE AND THE AIRWAVES THROUGH BROKENNESS
A few years back, I was working at a faith-agency that abruptly shut down. Like a crash landing. When this agency closed it left many of us unemployed for a significant time waiting and praying for the next right move. It was worse for the men who had families, but let’s face it: one day out of work is a long time. Yet, I’ve learned over time to never question and have seen over time that God always has my back and comes through bigger and better than if I planned anything for myself. If one door closes, another is opening and had the one door not closed, I wouldn’t have the need or desire to go where His prompting leads. If a job is uncomfortable or challenging, sometimes it’s a cue to plan your exit. Sometimes God wants to strip us of attachment and give us a greater sense of Divine Providence, lest we ever think it all depends upon us. It doesn’t. And sometimes it’s simply because better things are ahead and that next step leads us closer or deeper into His Divine Will and the destiny He’s called us to.
The whole crashed agency thing is, in a roundabout way, what moved me to Los Angeles – had not “the crash” occurred, I would not have had my feet re-positioned across the country. God used that short but action packed and foundational crashed agency to bring several key people into my life who would 100 percent be part of my future. Around this time I re-consecrated myself to Our Lady (a 33 day time of prayer which concludes with an Act of Consecration to Mary). Why would anyone do such a thing? Why wouldn’t you is the question. Getting under the mission of Christ is to get under everything he held dear including choosing to make his entrance on earth as the Son of God through Mary of Nazareth. If she’s good enough for Him, she’s more than good enough for me. I can entrust everything I am to her and know that she will lead me to Her Son and His plan for my life, to know Him, love Him and serve Him. He passed through Mary, so in a similar manner, by this consecration I would let my life pass through her Immaculate Heart.
Enter Mary’s Touch. Mary’s Touch is an award-winning thirty-minute Catholic radio program dedicated to the Blessed Mother broadcast weekly on stations around the U.S. and around the world. I never imagined when I met and represented Cheri Lomonte, founder and show host that I would someday be asked to carry the torch and take the helm upon her retirement. Never, ever did I see this coming – not in a million years…. So thank God for the crashed agency because it was a divine set up to meet some of my future collaborators including Cheri. Cheri founded the Frontline Faith Project, a national apostolate to serve men and women in the military, which formed as a result of Mary’s Touch, and I directed the PR for this incredible apostolate to bring faith to our military serving on the frontlines on bases and in war zones.
When we crash, we sometimes want to curse, you know? “Blast that. How could that happen? I can’t believe I left this for that,” and so on. But God in His infinite wisdom is moving our feet under a path set only for us, and each twist and curvy, sometimes seemingly dangerous, turn, leads us to that destiny. The world will never understand this frenetic messy dynamic, but will always wonder who your “agent” is when the scattered pieces all start to fall in place.
So when I was asked to consider taking over as show host for this radio program that reaches thousands around the globe, at first I was not sure how it would fit in with my Hollywood day job that turns into a 24/7 around-the-clock job. I would have to travel from LA to Austin every few weeks and be present in a new territory for this evangelization.
God’s will is sort of a no brainer: It’s the start of a Marian Year dedicated to Our Lady of Fatima’s 100th anniversary of her apparitions (look that word up) in Fatima, Portugal, a rather significant time in the Church. You can read more about Fatima here. I remember a time in my youth and young adulthood when I began to explore and learn about these apparitions (and others) that are approved by the Church. My family had a tremendous devotion to the Miraculous Medal and we had numerous Marian Shrines including one dedicated to Fatima near our home in the suburbs of Boston. I don’t remember any religious education teacher telling me about Mary in a deep way, but we did have a family devotion to Mary and her presence in the northeast is really quite unparalleled. If there were trials and hardships, we would pray a Hail Mary together. When my sister and I witnessed our beloved neighbor drop dead next door, my sister led us in praying the Hail Mary. This was an impressionable moment. Later, my family, best friend and I were part of a weekly Marian cenacle where we met in a family home in Malden, MA each Sunday to pray all decades of the Rosary and the Divine Mercy chaplet ending in consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. This shaped my 20-something years and was a firm foundation for a lifetime of Marian devotion.
Today, I still plant myself at the Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, also known as Mission Church in Roxbury pretty much every time I land in and depart from Boston. I think I left my entire heart there and a few outstanding intentions. I sometimes wonder, had I missed out on this truth of our faith, where exactly would I be? I can’t imagine my life without Mary’s guidance and Divine Motherhood in every area of my life. I guess it’s with that urgency for today’s culture that I feel it an imperative to advance the teaching and practice of Marian devotion for a new generation and so I responded with my little “yes” to host Mary’s Touch.
This past week we pre-taped our farewell show with beautiful Cheri Lomonte and her co-host Fr. Jim Evans. Cheri built an incredible legacy of storytelling about Mary, the Mother of God, and the ways and places Our Lady has left her touch on humanity through the ages. We also began our new shows featuring some of the great Marian apostles of our day who are working to make God’s love present in today’s world.
I’m truly overwhelmed by God’s love and grace and how He uses brokenness to lead us to new places of assignment for His glory. My prayer is that I will honor Cheri’s legacy and decade-long labor of love to honor Mary with the same reverence and purity of heart as we begin this new decade of programming.
If you experience a crash like I did, know that the crash is not the final say in your life. Know that Romans 8:28 is operative and that ALL things, not some things, work together for good for those called according to His purpose. Even if you feel like you are going through a crucible, you will be led to places you cannot imagine to do things you may feel unworthy of and even unsure of once you get there. A few years ago if anyone ever told me I would be moving entirely across the country to work in Hollywood and host a national radio show called Mary’s Touch, I may have laughed. I’m learning now that God wants us to laugh the entire way of our life’s journey. Laugh in trial. Laugh in the waiting. Laugh in the pruning. Laugh at the impossible. Laugh at the opposition. Laugh because He has it all under control and all is well in the Holy Spirit. He is the beginning and the end. And He’s yours and mine. Be joyful even in adversity as your joy and trust in His plan will accelerate its arrival.
When you entrust your life to Mary, she will truly touch you in ways you never thought possible and leave an indelible mark on your life.
Please pray for me as I embark on this new evangelization and please visit www.marystouch.org for more information about how to tune in!
Praying for you+