"So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect." (Matthew 5:48)

Monday, July 1, 2013

Zeroing In on God

        Quite some years ago, I saw an icon at a supposedly monastery. The image seemingly had teardrops streaming from the eyes of Virgin Mary holding Infant Jesus. I left the place with a cotton ball soaked with the tear. On my way out, I, along with two other visitors, all saw the blazing afternoon sun looking like a large moon with no glare at all ~ a miracle! A couple of years later, my son suffered a virus attack and his heart almost stopped beating. The doctor diagnosed that he would need a heart transplant if he did survive. I went to him in ICU, blessed him with the cotton ball I still had, and asked God to heal him. Four days later he was sent home ~ another miracle! Then much later, I learned on the internet that the crying icon was a hoax and the perpetrator was jailed and committed suicide. For quite a while, I was confused: how could miracles follow if the tear was not genuine? Here's what I have finally learned.
        It is our faith that makes God work miracles. Look at the woman afflicted with hemorrhages for twelve years in the Gospels. She came up behind Jesus in the crowd and touched his cloak, saying to herself, "If I but touch his clothes, I shall be cured," and she was cured. The cotton ball just happened to be what I used to convey my faith. The Lord looks at our faith and not at the means by which we express that faith. The sun miracle teaches a separate but similar lesson: Put our faith in God and not in miracles. God makes miracles happen to increase our faith in him and not the miracle. St. John of the Cross, who had many supernatural experiences, made it very clear that in our journey to union with God, paying too much attention to any supernatural experience along the way would definitely impede our progress. Conclusion: Put all your faith in the Lord alone and let nothing along the way distract you.

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