“My Life” – on the RockJune 2, 2012 No Comments
June 1, 2012 / MariaNews.com
“My Life” – on the Rock (part 1)
By Royce Hood
NAPLES, FL – Thursday, May 31 was a day that I will remember the rest of my life.
Several weeks ago I received an invitation to appear on EWTN’s Life on the Rock. I was a bit surprised by the invitation. Why would they want me? But I didn’t argue and promptly said, “yes!”
When I arrived at EWTN I was instantly moved by the beauty of the campus. This was clearly a place of God.
One of the first things I did upon my arrival was to go to confession. I kept thinking to myself ‘later tonight I am going to be interviewed on a television show, I’ve got to be ready!’ – While I was waiting in line I noticed that an EWTN mass for the Visitation of Mary was being broadcast. This was the same day that the church celebrates the Visitation. Wow, how cool was that. Being interviewed on TV on the day that we celebrate the Visitation! As I reflected on the Blessed Mother it all made sense.
The reason why I was at EWTN was because of my two mothers. I would not be who I am today but for maternal love.
On the show I was able to share parts of my story, but it was far from the whole story. There were many things I would have liked to have said but time did not permit it. So, I will share some other aspects of my life now. (this is also just part of the story)
My mother and I have been through many wonderful, but also tough times. Throughout the years we each experienced spiritual conversions that lead us to more fully embrace the social teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. My mother for example now has a beautiful devotion to Divine Mercy. She prays the rosary everyday and attends daily mass. Her prayers have lifted me up and I cannot thank her enough.
Throughout the years my mother sacrificed and made it possible for me to be where I am today.
My mother supported me financially when no one else would. She believed in me when no one else did. She always encouraged me to pursue my dreams. She opened the door that lead me to the Catholic faith. My mother instilled in me many virtues. She taught me to be strong, especially when times were hard. She taught me to focus on the positive things in my life. My mother taught me to embrace love and faith, and she taught me to forgive. She taught me to work hard and to show respect and compassion to others. I could go on and on. There is nothing in this world as dear as maternal love. A mother will do anything for her children. And my mother has done so much for me.
It was my mother who brought me to Medjugorje when I was about 19 years old. Because of this I came to better know my spiritual mother, the Virgin Mary. It was in Medjugorje that the seed of faith was planted. It took some time to grow but ultimately it changed my life.
While Medjugorje has yet to be approved by the Vatican, there are numerous apparition sites around the world that have been approved. After researching some of these miracles I learned one obvious truth; Our Lady wants to be bring us into closer union with her son Jesus Christ.
About 4 years ago I was considering law school. I had been looking mainly at mainstream and secular institutions. One day I received a package from Ave Maria School of Law. I wasn’t sure why they had sent the information but I was thrilled at the prospect of being recruited! – It turned out, my mother had called them requesting information. She learned about Ave Maria School of Law after sitting in Adoration. On her way out she picked up a little magazine that contained an advertisement for the school. She was thrilled! Ave Maria was an institution dedicated to Our Lady! She phoned the school and gave them my address.
One day while contemplating my future I was praying on my knees before a small picture of the Blessed Virgin holding baby Jesus. I asked for strength, mercy and courage. Strength – to make the right decision. Mercy – to be forgiven for my many sins, and courage to do the will of God.
A short time later I visited the campus of Ave Maria School of Law (“AMSL”). Instantly I felt at home. I attended a school sponsored speaking event, went to the ribbon cutting ceremony for the Florida campus and met some wonderful people.
One of the first things that greets visitors at the law school campus is a beautiful statue of Our Lady holding baby Jesus. This was the place I had been called to be!
During my time at Ave Maria Law, I would launch Maria News, become active in the pro-life movement, earn a law school education, meet the girl of my dreams (and became engaged), and I would grow in my faith. It is important to note that because of my fiance’ Elise, I am fully engaged in the pro-life movement. Elise has also helped me to grow even more in my faith (much more on Elise later). My law school education would not have been possible had it not been for my two mothers and their maternal love.
So, when I realized that my EWTN interview was on the day we celebrate the Visitation of Our Lady it was all clear – it all comes down to love! Our Lady loves us as our spiritual mother. She wants us to embrace her son and she wants us to fulfill our true potential. She is there to intercede for us! There is no greater love than that of a mother for her child.
My life on this rock has been truly amazing. I have made some mistakes along the way. I will work to articulate these more in the near future. But for now the easiest way to describe it is as a windy road. All of us experience ups and downs. My strength to do what I do comes from my faith; it comes from prayer and grace. My failures come from my own weakness. But each time I fall down I get back up and I work even harder to do the right thing.
Being on EWTN was truly a blessing! It is inspiring to know that there are many others who strive to build the kingdom in what they do. Thank you to everyone who has sent emails and posted comments about the show!
Please keep me in your prayers as I continue my journey on the rock!
Back to bar exam studies!
P.S. Please think about supporting the ministry of EWTN – click here to learn more.
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