Monday, April 4, 2011

Just a Block of Marble




I sit here contemplating what to write about because this last week has been really difficult for me. There have been multiple events that have just added to my grief. The "missing" seems to be consuming me. On these weeks, it is hard to keep my eyes turned upward to heaven. The pull towards the earth appears to be much greater, but I sit here knowing my God and friends in heaven refuse to allow it to devour me.

Michaelangelo said, "In every block of marble, I see a statue as plain as though it stood before me, shaped and perfect in attitude and action. I have only to hew away the rough walls that imprison the lovely apparition to reveal it to the other eyes as mine see it." Just as Love is a choice, I choose also to look even when the sorrow seems overbearing, to try my hardest to speak and look at this new life of mine in the Light of Truth - in the illumination of God. And in that choosing, He then steps in and must do all the rest. I am not trying to be like Michaelangelo - looking at a piece of marble and seeing exactly what beauty and being lies in it. I, however, am choosing to merely be the block, the block of marble with the rough walls that imprison such a lovely apparition. For God is the artist\miracle worker. I am simply what He has to work with.

So I ask myself questions pertaining to the Truth. What else is there? What else in this world can compare to the world of heaven, where I am journeying to? Isn't that what this entire life is about? And since the veil between heaven and earth has a sliver in it now for me, I desire nothing more but to break through and get there. Yes, there are moments where no comfort is possible to relieve my aching heart. But I sit here and recall ways heaven let me know they are right here next to me. Here are just a couple examples I thought of this week, out of a handful. In "The Life of Mary" book when it was revealed to Mary when her life on earth was to be finished, one of the requests she made was. she desired the other Apostles to be with her. Little did she know, they were already on their way. God had commanded His angels to tell the Apostles to start journeying to her home. God had already put in motion that very desire of Mary's heart before she even asked. I am thinking of this very way God has ministered to me like this. On a smaller scale, on two of the hardest days I've had I have received a package from my beautiful and devout Aunt Donna. She sends precious, unique little gifts for me and\or the children. I enjoy opening the special little treasures; however, more importantly, it tells me God's angels prompted my Aunt days before, and in her openness to these heavenly promptings, she responds, and in return I receive this little reminder of God's precious love on the EXACT day I needed it most. I also received two kinds of flowers I specifically just mentioned to heaven that I desired to receive just a small evidence that God is working and holding on to us through this. And on top of it, when human doubt kicks in and I wonder for a moment if by some chance coincidences are occasionally possible, one of the notes that came with the second request for a certain flower quoted Pope John Paul II saying how there are NO coincidences. I pray I may be open to such heavenly promptings so I too can be a vessel of love from heaven to someone else in need. For we are all connected and in this together.

I also recall an image of Mother Mary I have in my home. When Stella was a baby, she was taking her afternoon nap. I had this overwhelming desire to draw. I am not an artist, but the desire was intense. I pushed it aside, noting I didn't have any paper or pencil. The next day at he same time, the same desire arose in me. Again, pushing it aside because I lacked the proper tools. However, finally on the third day when that same urge occurred, I just grabbed a piece of computer paper and an ink pen. I felt like I was simply running my hand back and forth and withing minutes I had this beautiful image of Our Lady. I thanked her and felt a sense that it was her Face of Mercy. Later that week I found out on the day I drew and received the image, it was February 22, 2006, which was the day in 1931, Jesus first appeared to St. Faustina with the message and image of Divine Mercy for the entire world! (It is also my husband's birthday.) And I quote John Paul II, "In the divine providence, there are no coincidences." The story doesn't stop here... A few years later my sister-in-law saw an image of Our Lady of Ephesus. She couldn't believe the resemblance of it to the image in my home. I did some reading and research on Our Lady of Ephesus and found out Ephesus, Turkey was the place Mary lived for awhile after Jesus' Ascension to heaven. She was taken there for her safety. And I imagine since Jesus was no longer on earth, everything in her motherly make up must have desired to go with him to heaven. Why not? She birthed and raised the Messiah, her job was done, right? Wrong. It wasn't. God need her to be a leader in the developing movement of Christianity. Ephesus was the place she had to live our her grief from physical separation of her Son, because God was NOT done with her yet.

And that is the face of Mary I have in my home. It is the face I wear now. And now I know the reason why God gave me that special image to me five years ago. Just as He already prompted the Apostles to start making their way towards Mary so they could be with her in her final hours, God sent His own Mother to be in my home so she could already be there for this time in my life. I am honored and humbled. And I know what is occurring in my life is the will of our Loving God and part of his plan of MERCY for my daughter, my family, myself, and many souls. For as I said, what else is there but heaven? Earth is a gift, but it is only the very tip of the iceberg. This sacrifice I am facing is not only so I can be with my Stella for all of eternity, but so I can be there with you also. We are all family and our joys and crosses are united. I offer my day to God as soon as I wake up, so I know all that occurs in it, is His. And I pray this prayer of St. Faustina today as it begins:

"O Jesus, I want to live in the present moment, to live as if this were the last day of my life. I want to use every moment scrupulously for the greater glory of God, to use every circumstance for the benefit of my soul. I want to look upon everything, from the point of view that nothing happens without the will of God. God of unfathomable mercy, embrace the whole world and pour Yourself out upon us through the merciful Heart of Jesus."

I look forward to seeing what our God is creating out of this block of marble.

3 comments:

  1. Hello Francesca-

    Your blog is beautiful and God's grace was felt as I read. I plan on incorporating that prayer of St. Faustina into my daily prayers :) I really struggle with living in the present moment and with dismissing my anxieties, which prevent me from doing so. I feel compelled to share the scripture I was directed to focus on yesterday, as my penance from confession, because I feel it correlates.

    "Rejoice in the Lord always! I say it again. Rejoice! Everyone should see how unselfish you are. The Lord is near. Dismiss all anxiety from your minds. Present your needs to God in every form of prayer and in petitions full of gratitude. Then God's own peace, which is beyond all understanding, will stand guard over your hearts and minds, in Christ Jesus.
    Finally, my brothers, your thoughts should be wholly directed to all that is true, all that deserves respect, all that is honest, pure, admirable, decent, virtuous, or worthy of praise. Live according to what you have learned and accepted, what you have heard me say and seen me do. Then will the God of peace be with you."
    Philippians 4: 4-11

    Thank you for sharing and I look forward to future posts.

    *I was hesitant to post a comment here, and to be honest a little chicken, since I do not know you on a personal level, but I had this strong urge to do so because I was moved to tears reading your words. Thinking that maybe God was a part of this strong urge, I decided to go for it. I typed up my comment and tried to post it, but somehow lost everything that I typed. I became frustrated, because I took some time to think about my wording, and confused about whether or not God really wanted me to post something - why would it be erased?? I still had a strong feeling to write something! Frustrated and a little angry, I prayed that God would just clear up my confusion. I began to feel that I should write something, but my wording was not what he wanted the first time, soooo I prayed for his words. Since I was pretty frustrated and just wanted to get it right, I also said a small prayer to Stella for some extra guidance. Immediately, I heard internally "Tell her she is beautiful." - Since I do not feel comfortable using these as my own words, I added on this paragraph- which is now longer than my original post - to pass on the message. Hopefully I got it right this time, because Im out of time and have to get ready for work - God Bless and hope you have a great day! ~ Anna

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  2. Anna, Thank you so much for your boldness in sharing with me. And that Scripture was perfect for me today and I am going to reflect on it later in prayer and thank God for giving it to me through you. And...that voice inside was my Stella. Shortly after she went to heaven internally I heard those same words and she kept emphasizing how she wish I could see my beauty as heaven sees it. It is so hard in our humanity to do that though. Anyways, those words you heard are a confirmation to me of the words I heard. I know that. And I have to become more in tuned to her new voice to me. Thank you, Anna.

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  3. Francesca, the image of Our Lady of Ephesus look like YOU. She and you are both stunningly beautiful...

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