Thursday, July 31, 2014

A Reflection

"Doctrine is well enough for the wise, Jean; but the miracle is something we can hold in our hands and love." - from Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather.

The priest is speaking of the apparition of Our Lady of Guadalupe to Juan Diego.

This simple line spoke to me. I recently joined a Catholic Discussion Group on facebook at a friend's suggestion. It is a lovely group of women who are very knowledgable on doctrine and the discussions are most of the time very informative. But I have felt... lesser. I try to fully live my faith each day. It is a struggle for sure. From my view, it seems that others find it more in their nature to be holy, where for me, I desire it, but it seems against my nature. I struggle mightily to align my heart with the Father's will sometimes.

I think that is why I am drawn to Our Lady of Guadalupe. She came to Juan Diego, who was a simple man, trying to live a simple, holy life. He was not a learned scholar, nor did he try to be. (At least I don't think so) I long to have that child like faith, and some days I do, and just trust. Other days, I am consumed with anxiety and fear at the unknown, at not being able to make things the way I think they ought to be. This is a lifelong journey, I know. I picture myself on a forest path. Some parts are easy and beautiful and I stop to take in the beauty surrounding me, fully in awe and wonder. Some sections are uphill and arduous, the beauty is still there, but I have to put all my focus on the path, else I will stumble. I do stumble, lots of times, for I forget to watch where I place my feet and my heart.  Sometimes, I can't go any further. I need to rest and get my strength back. At these times, I lay down and rest in the strong arms of Jesus.

My sister-in-law gave me this picture of Our Lady.

I leave you with this quote from Death Comes for the Archbishop, which is the reply to the quote at the beginning of this post.

"Where there is great love there are always miracles," he said at length. "One might almost say that an apparition is human vision corrected by divine love. I do not see you as you really are, Joseph; I see you through my affection for you. The Miracles of the Church seem to me to rest not so much upon faces or voices or healing power coming suddenly near to us from afar off, but upon our perceptions being made finer, so that for a moment our eyes can see and our ears can hear what is there about us always."


  1. That speaks to me about taking notice of the everyday miracles: the sun shining through the maple leaves, the laughter of the baby, cream swirling up through the coffee... So many things to overlook, so much beauty provided by our Father that we hardly see.

    And don't compare yourself to anyone else. You only know about your struggles, but every single other person on the face of this earth is facing down their own sinfulness, too. It's just that nobody really likes to talk about their failings. :-)

    Peace be with you, friend!

  2. This post speaks to me today...
    I feel a longing for the deep faith I see in others.
    I want to feel know that...
    On some levels I know it is there...thank you for letting me know I am not alone.

  3. Our beautiful church is like an ocean full of sea shells, not one alike. We all belong, but we all live our Catholicity different.

    I often wish I could remember scripture better, or be a better apologist. When I listen to Catholic radio, I think, "Why didn't I think of that?" in answer to a question or issue raised. But, that is not how God made me. He made to to be who and where I am. I pray I am witness to my children and husband, and those around me. But, that is all.

    My grandma was one of the best Catholics I have ever known, but she never read any Catholic book beyond the bible, and she didn't go to study groups or classes, nor was she active in her church. She was just faithful. She attended Mass as often as she could and she worked as hard as she could. She was a witness to faith in God. That is a good Catholic in my opinion -- not looking for achievement, but just being faithful to God -- humility at its best.

  4. The wisdom of the universe in these your words: "This is a lifelong journey, I know. I picture myself on a forest path." You are better than you think you are.