The phone call woke me up in the middle of the night. The exact time was 2:57 a.m. The voice on the other end was from a man I had represented on a previous occasion. For the purpose of this article, I’m going to call him “Jake.” When I answered the phone, the first thing I heard was, “Hey Harry. This is Jake. Before I tell you why I’m calling, do you need time to clear your head?” He paused and then said, “Are you alert enough to have a conversation with me?” “Yea, Jake. What’s going on?”
He told me he was at the Peoria police station being questioned by two detectives. He had been picked up at his house an hour earlier by police officers who arrived at the house in two squad cars, with their lights flashing. He said that his wife and children were horrified when the police officers put handcuffs on him and hauled him away.
Jake told me that he had answered a few general questions but then he got worried, and told the detectives that he wanted to talk to his attorney before answering any more questions. I told Jake not to answer any more questions, and that I would be at the police station within 10 minutes. When I arrived, I was escorted to the interrogation room and was left alone to talk to Jake. He told me he was being accused of assisting a woman with covering up a serious crime.
At that time, Jake was in his mid-40s and was unemployed. He was also addicted to cocaine. His wife had a good-paying job, and they still had young children at home. During our short conversation, I learned that Jake had been having an affair with the woman with whom he was accused of covering up a crime.
I stepped out of the room and told the detectives that Jake was not going to answer any more of their questions. I also told them that he had not done anything wrong other than hanging out and carrying on a relationship with a woman who had allegedly committed a crime. To my surprise, they let him go. They apparently didn’t believe they had enough evidence to charge him with a crime.
I drove Jake home and had a long conversation with him about how he knew better than to cheat on his wife. He had been raised as a Catholic but had been out of the church for several years. I told him that he needed to get his act together, or he was going to lose his wife and children. He listened to me and acted as though he appreciated my concern.
About a year after my experience with Jake, his mother called me — I’ll call her Jane — and asked me to prepare a will for her. Her husband had died several years earlier and because she was in her 70s, she wanted to make sure her affairs were in order. I had previously assisted Jane with another legal matter and I knew that she was a devout Catholic.
When we met to discuss her will, Jane expressed grave concern about Jake. She did not know anything about the incident with the police department. She had other grown children, but Jake had been a problem for her ever since he was a teenager. I asked her if she prayed a daily rosary. She was ashamed to admit that she did not pray the rosary every day, because she had been taught as a child that the rosary should be a part of her everyday routine.
Her reaction to my question surprised me. I have rarely encountered anyone who has been truly embarrassed to say that they we’re not praying a daily rosary. Most people simply recite a litany of excuses as to why they can’t get to their daily prayers. I told Jane that the best thing she could do for her son and the rest of her family was to pray a rosary every day and ask the Mother of God to watch over, guide, and protect them.
A few months passed by before I got around to preparing the will. Jane then came to my office to sign the will. While my assistant was making copies of the signed will, I asked Jane if she was praying her rosary every day. She told me that she had not missed a day since our initial appointment.
A couple of years after I prepared the will for Jane, I ran into Jake at a social event. I had not seen him since the night I had picked him up from the police station. I asked him how he was doing. He told me that after I dropped him off at his home, his wife started asking questions. He said that he eventually admitted to her that he was having an affair. After that, everything went downhill for him.
He said that things got so bad, one evening he loaded a pistol that he had hidden away, and went for a long walk. He had decided that he was going to end his life. He walked over to a wooded area several blocks from where he lived. He then lifted the gun to his head. He couldn’t explain to me what happened next. He said that it was as though an invisible force stopped him from pulling the trigger. As much as he wanted to kill himself, he was unable to complete the act. After a while, he put the gun back into his pocket, walked home, and went to bed.
About six months after Jake told me about his experience with the gun, his mom called and scheduled an appointment to revise her will. I met with her and discussed the changes she wanted in the will. I then asked how her family was doing. She told me that she was still very worried about Jake, but that he seemed to be doing better. I asked her if she was praying her rosary every day, and she said, “I don’t just pray one rosary, I pray three rosaries every day. I want to make sure that the Blessed Mother protects my family.”
Around the same time that I assisted Jane with her will, I had another devout Catholic mother who called me to discuss a legal matter. I had talked to her about the Catholic faith on a few previous occasions, and she had told me that in addition to attending daily Mass and praying a daily rosary, she had consecrated herself to Jesus through Mary, by using the process outlined by St. Louis De Montfort in his book True Devotion to Mary.
After we discussed her legal matter, she told me about her college-educated son who lived in another state. She said that at one point he had lost his job and broke up with his girlfriend, which caused him to suffer from severe depression. She said that she had talked to him periodically over the phone and after one of her phone calls, she had a sense that he was so bad off that he was going to commit suicide.
Her feeling was so strong that she told her husband that she had no other choice but to buy a plane ticket, so she could fly out to see him. And that’s exactly what she did. She said that when she arrived at his house, she felt a darkness and despair that she had never experienced. She ended up staying at her son’s house for more than a month. When she returned home, she felt as though her prayers had been answered and that his despair had subsided. Shortly thereafter, some positive things started happening for her son. She told me that she believed that the Mother of God had intervened and our Lord had performed a miracle on behalf of her son.
Within the past year, another one of my clients told me that her teenage daughter had been suicidal and had taken steps to plan how she was going to kill herself. The mother said that her daughter had been repeatedly bullied at school and was having gender identity issues. Things got worse when her daughter moved out of her house and into a house with a couple of guys who were older than her. Within a week of moving, the daughter was involved in an automobile accident that caused damage to some property. She fled the scene of the accident and was later arrested. After her arrest, she called her mother and asked her to come to the police station to pick her up. The daughter subsequently moved home and admitted that she needed help. Her mother then got her into counseling.
When I asked the mother if she was praying her daily rosary — something that I had convinced her to do several years ago — she told me that she had been faithfully praying her rosary every day. While the situation with her daughter had improved, her daughter still had a long way to go, but the mother was certain that the Blessed Virgin Mary was watching over her family and would see to it that everything worked out for them.
Last week I wrote that there are three specific things that you can do to guarantee that during the last 60 minutes of life for you and each member of your immediate family (your spouse, children, parents, and siblings), your souls will not be lost for all eternity. Doing those three things also protects you and each member of your immediate family from ever committing suicide.
As I pointed out last week, the three things are: (1) Remain in the state of grace by following the rules of the Catholic Church; (2) Pray a rosary every day while doing your best to meditate on its mysteries; and (3) Consecrate yourself to Jesus through Mary by using a consecration process such as the one provided by St. Louis De Montfort in his book True Devotion to Mary, or the one provided by Fr. Michael Gaitley in his book 33 Days to Morning Glory: A Do-It-Yourself Retreat in Preparation for Marian Consecration.
I know for certain that the mother who traveled to be with her son had put all three of the above-mentioned things into practice. I didn’t have the presence of mind to ask the other two mothers if they had made the consecration, but I do know that they were devout Catholics who prayed their rosary every day.
I’ll have a few more things to say about this topic next week.