Tuesday, January 31, 2012

This Grace is for You

The last two lines of yesterday’s blog got me thinking about the Miraculous Medal (MM).    There are several lessons to be learned from the MM, one of those lessons is that God offers graces of which we forget to ask.  
My two year old is fighting the idea of taking a nap right now and I need some grace - I’m not sure which grace, though.  Is there such a grace as “For the mother of a 2 year old”?  Let’s see if I have the grace to write a blog and get him to go to sleep without my head spinning around a’la “The Exorcist”.
The story of the MM is pretty amazing.  Mary, the Blessed Mother, appeared to St. Catherine Labouré, a Daughter of Charity, several times between 1830-1.  Here’s the short version of the story: Mary told Catherine that she wanted a medal made.  Mary gave Catherine permission to tell her Confessor and in the course of her life only told three people about the apparitions.  The development of the medal was slow so Mary appeared a final time to tell Catherine she wasn’t happy.  Catherine told her Confessor and then the production of the medals got into high gear.  During her lifetime, Catherine always denied being the one to whom Mary appeared.  And finally, after Catherine’s death she did not decompose!  She is an incorruptible because during the first apparition she touched Mary.
I don’t know about you, but if Mary appeared to me I’d be asking everyone if I’d gone crazy and hadn’t noticed.  Secondly, the whole incorruptible “thing” seems inconceivable until I saw St. Catherine with my own eyes.  She looks like she’s sleeping and she died 135 years ago!  
The front of the MM shows Mary standing on the globe with her hands outstretched.  From her hands are beams, some are radiant and some are in shadow.  Mary told Catherine that God is waiting to pour out his graces on the world, but people need to ask for them.  
Some people might read this and think it’s superstitious Catholic stuff and others might think it’s plain, old crazy.  But, why not?  If God can “overshadow” a young girl so that she can give birth to the Son of God, then why can’t God allow Mary to appear to us today?  If God can resurrect and utterly change Jesus’ physical nature, then why can’t a saint not be touched by death?  God wants to be in relationship with us and apparently France in the 1830’s needed a big demonstration of how much God wanted that relationship.  However, what was true in 1830 in France is still true today.  
What grace do you need that you haven’t ask for?
***2 year old update*** still not sleeping, banging on the door, screaming “Mama”.  I’m gonna’ go pray for some grace right now.  

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