My Longish "Mini-Miracle" Ring Story
Okay so here's one of those stories that is easy to read too much into and get all superstitious about but I think the point of this is to show quite the opposite.
I bought this nice sterling silver, mind you, Miraculous Medal ring (you can look up what a Miraculous Medal is to Catholics on the internet if you need to) about 12 years ago when I was going through some long forgotten desperate time and really needed a miracle. I bought a moderately expensive one because I wanted it to symbolize the deep commitment I had to the Blessed Mother of God that I would renew myself in my Faith in Her Son, Jesus Christ as Our Lord and Savior of All Mankind. To God, The Holy Trinity. Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Answer to all our problems and the Meaning of our existence.
Wow. That's not a loaded proposition right? Believe me its like the old 70's one hit wonder song went: "I beg your pardon...I never promised you a rose garden... dee dee dee da da da."
Well I didn't get my rose garden (though we've had a pretty good tomato patch every year next to the house outside which I actually prefer because I can eat them of course.) So read what you may from that.
Anyway I would wear the thing in public now and then and would feel absolutely foolish and superstitious that I was using this thing as means to somehow buy God's grace or use some kind of magic to get my way. I would immediately put it in the drawer with some of the other Catholic religious trinket collection I had compiled over the years. Most of it just cheap but faithful and traditional stuff. I was tempted to throw it all away as a sign to God that my faith was in Him alone in Spirit and not in these things but I couldn't get past the fact that they were reminders of what I found to be so good about the Catholic Faith. Not the things themselves but what they represented. The meanings. The stories. The mysteries.
Well this past year tested our household and our family health and stress-wise and I have to admit me personally very much so as well. When the year started off so bad and I found myself in dire straights with my mental health, I promised a man that offered me a "way out" that I would do everything in my power to make something good come of the situation that I found myself so suddenly and unexpectedly in.
What has the past very long year taught me? It ALL depends on God my friend. Just be ready to respond when He's ready to "speak" to you.
For me that God has a Name that all Believers must bow before humbly in Truth. Jesus Christ.
Grace to achieve and multiply and prosper comes for us through the Merits of but One Person. Jesus Christ. Truly God. Truly Man.
I am nothing.
He is Everything.
It was a year that opened my eyes to the people that truly suffer in this world. Outside of myself and my family and my relatively small "circle" that I can't believe I have the privilege to associate with.
I'm not talking about the "suffering saints" that we all so admire because of their unselfish heroism and virtues.
Oh them that look into the abyss and "delightfully" plunge in.
The Master long ago "told" me (figuratively speaking of course) ... "you cannot go where but I can thus... and will go."
Like He said to St. Peter so long ago, get thee BEHIND Me Satan! YOU MUST FOLLOW ME!
You must choose.
When you are given the chance. Over and over and over again.
Ughhh... wandering off course again. lol.
Anyway I wanted to thank GOD for the grace he showed us in getting us through a tough year by paying homage to His Mother. The Immaculate CONCEPTION (not "reception", though I get the humor unfortunately.)
So I rooted through that drawer and found that thing. Yes thing. And put it on my finger.
Sure enough, that week I'm out snow blowing the driveway the first snow of the winter and zlllwhippp... the thing slips off and I lose it in the snow.
Oh "@#$%^" (I know, really Godly language of me right? lol) I caught myself and said okay. I get it. I looked around a little and said its gone and truly let that thing go!
Believe me it was nowhere to be found and I truly could care less. If God wants me to have it I'll have it if not, not. What ever. I could really care less at this point.
So having not mentioned anything about this ring to anyone. I don't think anyone in even my closest family even knew I had it all those years or tried out a "devotion" to it. (I was a secret collector of cheap (except this one) Catholic devotional things. Mind you not a big collection. I was kind of embarrassed about the stuff.
Anyway a week or so after I lost the ring "forever", my parents and I, whom I live with and for whom I am helping out in their senior years, received one of those Mass cards in the mail from my brother and his family. Devout long-time Catholics. Big family and all.
Low and behold it is a Mass intention prayer card from the "National Miraculous Medal Center" somewhere in Missouri I think. Sorry. Don't have the actual name of the place in front of me now but you can look it up. Beautiful big card with a portrait of the Miraculous Medal Mother of God with the rays of light shining down from her hands. Meant to be displayed and it is on my parents piano prominently in the front room.
Anyway my brother and his wife had them say a Mass intention for all of us out of the "blue". Probably thought we needed a miracle.
I said "wow". That's interesting. I never mentioned that ring or devotion of mine to anyone. I lose the ring for good and we get a Mass said for us out of the blue from some National Shrine to the Miraculous Medal.
I STILL did not go out hunting and pecking for that ring. BELIEVE me. When it comes to that kind of stuff, I have learned my lesson long ago. It bothered me non what so ever that it was gone. After all did I really want to become a "jewelry Christian". I used to secretly admire and despise them at the same time. Ugghhh.
So a full month goes by after that and we are pushing into the new year and just last week I was out in the driveway on December 21, the winter solstice and it was a bright sunny cold crisp day. I was talking to a good, long time, Christian friend and neighbor that came over to "shoot the breeze" as we do periodically.
Long conversation about a lot of different everyday things. In the middle of the conversation I jokingly told him I self-published a little strange book of mind where I set myself up as an example of COMPASSIONATE Catholic self-care when dealing with a chronic mental illness. I asked if he'd like a copy and he kindly obliged me and he even asked me to sign it.
Right after that, mind you the sky is blue that day the sun is high-noon bright, and I kind of turn my head and my eye glanced down at the landscaping stones around a little decorative tree planted next to the drive way and one of those WHOA! glints, like from a diamond catches my eye.
I excused myself briefly from the conversation and picked that ring up like it was just sitting there meant to be found right then and there. I told my neighbor I lost it snow blowing a month ago and thought it was gone.
I just slipped that thing back on my finger, it's bent a little which actually makes it fit a little better, I kid you not, the snow blower bent it to fit my finger a little better. lol. And we went on talking about other things. Said "g'day" and parted ways.
I went right in the house and told my parents the "ring" story and they were amazed too. Texted my siblings and related the story and they were like "wow!" too.
It was just "meant to be" as they say.
So I wear it now until the Good Lord tells me to "lose" it again forever. Hopefully I'll meet someone somewhere down the road that God will "tell" me really needs a miracle. Some tangible, valuable sign of hope and I will say here my friend, I have been keeping this for you. I will tell you what it means and how much God loves you if you want or you can go find out for yourself. Or I can simply show you the only other piece of "jewelry" that I will probably ever wear as well.
A piece of "jewelry" of a Man that was God Himself being crucified and tortured to death by us just over 2000 years ago. All of us. That we might live. My Crucifix necklace. (That's a whole other story... of FORGIVENESS!)
You may have that "thing", that "empty" piece of "jewelry" as well if you wish.
This stuff sure won't save you but That Man will.
Think about it.
Forget about it.
Go live your life and live it well.
God bless you.