“Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 2 Corinthians 12:8-9
So that Christ’s power may rest on me.
When that happens, we are blessed with a state of grace that goes beyond the natural laws of the universe to explain.
Miraculous healing. Escape from calamity. Answered prayer. All of these are things that the sciences – as formidable as they have become – cannot explain.
We know how the universe was formed – but we don’t know what came before it. We know the human body in its genetic combinations in ways that lead to new, more targeted designs for medicines. But we still can’t explain exactly what the appendix did/does. We can see father into space than Galileo ever imagined. But we can’t see into a black hole, only conjecture it’s existence.
And the more we know, the more we learn how much we don’t know.
Because as St. Paul so cogently noted, now we see “through a glass, darkly. But then we shall see, face to face.” 1 Corinthians 13:12)
Fr. Richard Heilman posits that the devil loves to do anything he can to disrupt our being in a state of God’s grace. If he can convince us that we know it all, then there is no room left for Godly mystery.
It was the whole point of his ploy to get Adam and Eve to eat from the tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil: to convince us we have no need for God or his power in our lives.
His success at this is greatest when we are convinced there is no God at all, because that cuts us off entirely from the power of God’s supernatural grace.
Again, it is “supernatural” because we cannot see it, or explain it. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.
In yesterday’s blog, I mentioned having mystical experiences. They are not things I talk about easily; I have shared them with very few people.
Today I am going to share freely one of those times.
It was in the 80’s. I was then living with my elementary-aged son on the Monterey peninsula, a single mother, working in public relations for a major corporation.
I had a grueling round of surgeries that meant I would never be able to have more children. I was at home, recovering without benefit of family, few friends and no Church support as I was then an unaffiliated Christian.
Feeling alone in my misery, I lay in bed one night looking at a thick fog clouding the sky. I couldn’t answer the question of why this was happening to me.
“God, if you are there, please, show me a sky full of stars,” I asked.
Suddenly the fog lifted, and there they were – a sky full of stars. I looked at them in wonder for a few minutes before the fog rolled back in.
Now a meteorologist might have been able to give me an explanation for this phenomena.
All I know is I said a prayer, and, from the observable data, it was answered. And my emotional healing began.
Fr. Heilman writes that “St. Peter warns us to be fortes in fide, strong in faith, because the devil prowls around like a lion, looking for someone to devour (1 Pt 5:8-9). Lions size up a herd to find the weakest and easiest target. Once we are detached from God and his supernatural grace, we are powerless to defend ourselves from the tactics of the devil.
Our ancestors and all of the saints knew all about this supernatural power and strength and that being in a state of grace was the armor of God that was to be treasured and protected at all cost. Like the scriptural images for the kingdom of God, this Divine Life in God (state of grace) is the “hidden treasure” and the “pearl of great price” (Mt 13:44-46). (excerpt from Church Militant Field Manual).”
But sometimes, if we are especially graced, God will show us this pearl.
While the lion may prowl and roar, the pearl still gleams.
If we would stay in a state of grace and lucky enough to live with the pearl’s gleam, we should hold onto this treasure with all our might.
And not be afraid to call it “supernatural.”