Apple Pie a la Mode


November-December 1997 Issue of the MaryFaithful

by John Roll

Minot, North Dakota

I was praying one night to understand a matter I often hear discussed these days. People say you need not go through Mary or anyone else to get to Jesus; when you pray, they say, go straight to Jesus.

I asked my Guardian Angel why I should often be talking to him!

That night I had a dream, in which I was six years old; it was my dad’s birthday. Being six, I quickly thought of a present for him: I knew he loved apples, that my uncle had an apple tree, and that I loved climbing. So I went over to my uncle’s house, and asked if I might pick some apples.

“Yes,” he said. “Have all you like.”

So I picked from the tree all I could. Being young, I was not very careful. Many apples dropped, and bruised as they smashed against a branch or fell to the ground. When I finished, I had a full paper sack; I walked home with them, tired and struggling, as the sack had a rather large hole and apples kept falling out.

 I did manage to return with more than half of them–more than enough for a birthday feast. I watched as I sorted the remaining fruit. Three! All that work, and only three apples were fit for dad’s birthday gift!

Once again, I looked over all the fruit. The rest were bruised, scuffed, cracked or pitted with dirt from having fallen on the ground. I began to cry. Hearing me, my mother came into the room and asked why I was crying.

As I told her the story, she looked over the fruit and said, “We can still give your father apples for his birthday.”

“But Mom, I can’t give Dad only three apples! I planned to give him a whole sackful–not just three!”

She looked at me with sort of a sad smile. “You dad would be very happy to have the three apples for his present. But I know a way he can have all of your gift.”

“How? They’re all ruined!”

Her face lit up with a large smile. “They’re not ALL ruined. We can wash them, peel them and cut away all that is bad. We can make your father apple pie!”

At Mom’s words I became happy again and said, “That’s right! Only part of each apple is bad.”

So, with Mom’s help–she added her flour, sugar and other fixings–I began to make apple pies. We baked them and waited for them to cool. Three! Three apple pies! I could give Dad three apple pies! I was very happy, because without Mom, most of my work would have gone to waste and unsavored.

Mom cut a large slice of apple pie, put it on a plate, and added two scoops of ice cream. I took this and a glass of milk to the living room and gave them to Dad, with a sense of achievement.

 From this dream, I learned that we can truly go straight to Jesus with our prayers, and Jesus is always happy to receive them. But with them could go the blemishes of our pride, hatreds and other weaknesses and imperfections.

With Mary’s help and merits, we are able to give Jesus His prayers . . . a la mode!


Some people fear that praying to Mary will drive Christ out of the forefront of religious consciousness. But experience shows otherwise. It is precisely the masters of the religious life, the saints, who honored Mary the most.

This veneration did not lead them away from Christ. Indeed, it led to that profound oneness with Christ which makes men and women holy. Mary is not a barrier to Christ, but the way to Him.

Those Christian splinter groups which turned away from Mary, also turned away, to a greater or lesser extent, from Christ. Their tabernacle is empty: And even their faith in the Godhead of Christ is often shaken. –Father Herbert Madinger

Never weary in cheering your family with your smile. It is not enough to avoid depressing them; you must brighten them up and let their spirits expand. Be especially vigilant when the little ones are around. Give them the alms of a smile, hard though it be at times. What a pity when children have to say, “I don’t like it at home.” – Christ in the Home, Fr. Raoul Plus, S.J. http://amzn.to/2rHXstq (afflink)

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