Over 600 years ago a Yorkshireman called John built a tiny chapel in a rock face outside Knaresborough. John’s son, it is believed, was saved from a falling rock and he attributed this to Our Lady’s prayers and to say thank you he built a chapel, now called the Chapel of Our Lady of the Crag.
For centuries it was a wayside shrine where pilgrims could call and give thanks. It still is a little shrine to which passers by on a nearby path frequently climb up and pause at the rough hewn rock chapel.
The small rock sanctuary with its Marian and medicinal herb garden outside is a special place,visited not only by those walking by, but as well by those who travel to come to the simple wayside shrine. It stands not far from the cave of St Robert. I was struck, when I visited recently, how John’s act of generosity to God has born fruit in ways he would never have expected, and how through the centuries he has enriched the lives of people he never knew.
In our prayers we often ask God for many things, John’s witness reminds also us to be generous to God ourselves and to say thank you for prayers answered.
A few weeks ago a small posy was placed at Our Lady’s statue in St Chrysostom’s church, it had been given, anonymously, as a thank you ‘for a prayer answered.’ That simple act led me to ask if I am generous to God.
Thank God for the gifts of kindness and thankfulness, and pray for a generous heart.