By Judith Costello
Sometimes my mind is filled with doubts and I wish I would have a vision of the Blessed Mother or Jesus. And when my students were preparing for their first Communion, I wished they would receive some kind of jolt that would tell them, “This is me, Jesus! Pay attention.”
But then I started thinking about all the ways God does give me a “jolt” . . . and I dismiss it. I end up giving the credit for miracles to “a bit of luck” or “an act of science.”
Humans have been dismissing God’s active presence for centuries. I’ll bet it even happened when God parted the river so the Israelites could pass through to escape their Egyptian pursuers. After they were on the other shore, someone in the crowd probably said, “We were lucky. It’s a good thing something came along to dam the river just then!”
God is at work in our lives all the time offering signs and wonders. And sadly, we ignore him.
So I’m trying to pay attention again. And the more I pay attention, the more miracles there are to see.
My mom had just returned home from having surgery when she had to go to an all-day book fair. All members of the family were worried about whether she should stay on her feet all day. But Mom turned the problem over to God. Her busy day went better than expected, without a single moment of physical discomfort!
And then Peter, my son, was having a bad day. He didn’t think anything could help. But we went to Mass that evening. By the time we got home he was smiling and cheerful. I asked him what happened and he said, “I just felt calmer after Mass. I’m not sure why.”
Of course, the reason “why” is God. We have that wonderful promise that if we turn our problems over to him, God will take them and give us peace in return. (Phil. 4:6-7)
My daughter Brigit and her friend Lilly are another good story. They are both adopted. They both have family members who were born in Iowa. Each girl has an older sibling and they are the same age. As a result of their friendship our families seem connected.
But they live 2,000 miles apart and met as school pen pals.
When the girls started to marvel at their connections, Lilly’s mom wrote this: “We prayed before we signed up for a pen pal. So God was involved in the selection. He brought our two families together. We don’t always see God’s hand in every detail of life but when we do — it’s good to notice it, marvel at it, and glory in his care of us. These moments give us the strength to trust him in other situations.”
It is important to give credit where credit is due. During those times when I focus on the ways God answers my prayers I begin to feel his presence more clearly.
Last week my Sunday school students made their first Communion. I was praying that they would feel truly connected to Jesus. But of course, I didn’t have any way to know. I went to a weekday Mass and one of my students came running over. She said, “I came to receive Jesus again. I wish I could come every day!”
It was a God moment! Thank you, Lord.
(Judith Costello is a freelance writer who grew up in Davenport and now lives in rural New Mexico. Her Web site is www.thedailychristian.com.)