"Lord, I'm amazed."

I'm in Phoenix for the 35th annual Rosary Sunday at which I will be the keynote speaker. This evening I'll be at the Cathedral for Mass followed by a holy hour and dinner with the dozens of folks it takes to orchestrate an event like this. It will be good to have such quality time with the Lord present in the Blessed Sacrament this evening and to meet some of the people to whom I'll be speaking. I have to admit that I'm a bit nervous. I've never spoken to 6,000 people before and when I looked at the convention center room in which we will be praying tomorrow, I was struck by how big it is. Now, perhaps I've spoken to thousands on the radio at any given time, but somehow it feels a lot different imagining that many people right in front of me.

This is another of my "Lord, I'm amazed" moments. The first one occurred on the night after I was ordained a deacon. I lay in bed thinking about the ordination and about the next day, when my parents, who had journeyed from Milwaukee to the Boston area, would be in the front pew of St. Ann's Church in Somerville, MA where I would be preaching at one of the Sunday Masses. I prayed: "Lord, I'm amazed. Is this the same person who less than fifteen years ago was afraid to raise his hand in class during high school and college? I was so shy, and afraid of speaking in front of people. What happened? How is that I am now about to preach in a church filled with people? Yes, it's the same person who was so afraid and isn't your grace amazing?! Aren't You able to work wonders? You certainly have in my case."

So as I prepare for Rosary Sunday in Phoenix, I find myself grateful for God's grace at work in my life. All credit for any good that I do goes to God. I know where I've come from and so I give all glory and honor to God. May the Holy Spirit speak through me tomorrow so that God will receive greater honor and glory. May my words honor our Blessed Mother whose openess to God's grace is an example for all of us. Mary, Help of Christians, pray for us!