If you’ve been reading the blog, you’ll know that I’m a recent convert to Catholicism. I don’t take every article of the Catechism literally, and I hold what I like to call some complimentary beliefs from other faith traditions. Personal revelation is very important to me. But the Catholic Church has become my spiritual home.
I go to church every Sunday, and for much of Lent, I’ve been going to Mass daily. I’m nearing the end of a novena, which is a personal, nine day prayer cycle. I wear religious medals on a silver chain around my neck, under my shirt.
That’s not bragging – as in, “Look how holy i am” – it’s context. Like any honest person, I must acknowledge my “manifold sins and wickedness”, but that isn’t one of them. I have enough others to make up for it, though.
There are three medals on my chain: Mary, St. Jude (who can resist the appeal of a saint whose portfolio is “things despaired of”), and St. Barbara (who was recommended to me as an intercessor for negotiating the dramas that can arise at work).
Each of them is an oval metal disk with an eyelet at the top for the chain to pass through – and those eyelets are solid and secure. They will stay in place unless the chain breaks – and it hasn’t.
Yesterday, I decided to buy a silver crucifix. I wasn’t sure whether to put it on a separate (presumably shorter) chain or add it to the one I had. Undecided, I opted for the latter. The jeweller added it to my chain between two of the medals – I clearly remember watching him take the medal off, add the crucifix, replace the medal, and do up the hasp (or whatever it’s called), and put everything in some silver cleaner. Later, at home, I looked at it – as one naturally does when one buys something new – and again, I clearly remember seeing it between two medals.
This morning, the position of the crucifix had changed – it was no longer between two medals but to one side of the three.
At no time did I undo the clasp or even take off the chain.
I am certain of all these things.
I tried to duplicate this, but failed – it’s not built that way. What happened is impossible, but it did happen.
My belief in God and in the immortal soul that survives the death of our physical bodies is founded on many things over the course of many years. I don’t need a miracle to sustain it.
So was it a miracle?
What happened was that one of the medals had migrated all the way around during the night, leaving the crucifix on its own. So it was not divine intervention. It was an active sleeper, tossing and turning, moving his medals around.
It did not affect my faith one way or another – that faith is already very solid. What it did do was to leave me with the feeling that I should get a second chain for the crucifix, a little shorter than the one I have so that it doesn’t get all tangled up with the medals.
Happy Easter everyone.