“But [the widow] said, ‘As the Lord your God lives, I have nothing baked, only a handful of meal in a jar, and a little oil in a jug; I am now gathering a couple of sticks, so that I may go home and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it, and die.’” (1 Kings 17:12)
These days, there seems to be a crisis around every corner—everywhere. Persecutions, perversions, inversions of truth, untimely deaths—in a word—chaos. I can’t help but think of something that happened a few years ago. Once, during the night I felt the Lord’s presence and saw an image. It was like multi-colored pieces shifting and overlapping. The image seemed to have no order to it. It was very chaotic and hard to figure out. These words came to me: “Things will happen in rapid succession.” In the image it seemed like things were happening all over the place that were seemingly unconnected, but really, they were all connected in the big picture. Still, I could not make sense of it. Kind of like a living, moving, “crazy quilt”. I felt a strong urge to tell people to prepare, both practically with emergency kits and contact plans, as well as spiritually with prayer and fasting.
Like the widow in the Scripture passage above, there is an undercurrent of desperation to world events today. Humanly speaking, there is little reason for hope. Christians, however, have every reason to hope. The Scripture story concludes this way:
“Elijah said to her, ‘Do not be afraid; go and do as you have said; but first make me a little cake of it and bring it to me, and afterwards make something for yourself and your son. For thus says the Lord the God of Israel: “The jar of meal will not be emptied and the jug of oil will not fail until the day when the Lord sends rain upon the earth.”’ She went and did as Elijah said, so that she as well as he and her household ate for many days. The jar of meal was not emptied, neither did the jug of oil fail, according to the word of the Lord that he spoke by Elijah.” (1 Kings 17: 13-16)
Even in the dream, I had the feeling that even though things appeared chaotic to me, even though I could not make sense of them, that God certainly could, that indeed, God’s plan always looks like this to us. We just don’t get it.
The good news is that we don’t have to understand. We just have to do what God puts in front of us every day, and trust in him for everything. I have been spending some time this week watching the tributes to Mother Angelica on EWTN. This taking life one step at a time and acting with fearless trust in her loving Father, was her trademark. She taught us so much with her words, but her life, too, is full of rich lessons.
We have no reason to fear! God has given us so many blessings and so much assistance by way of spiritual mentors, devotions, and prayers. He has opened the floodgates of mercy. This week leading up to Divine Mercy Sunday allows us to focus on that devotion in a very special way. This excerpt from the Diary of St. Faustina is a stunning reminder of the power God has given us in the Divine Mercy chaplet:
“When a great storm was approaching, I began to say the chaplet. Suddenly I heard the voice of an angel: ‘I cannot approach in this storm, because the light which comes from her mouth drives back both me and the storm.’ Such was the angel’s complaint to God. I then recognized how much havoc he was to have made through this storm; but I also recognized that this prayer was pleasing to God, and that this chaplet was most powerful.” #1791
An important point to remember in all this is that the widow in the Scripture passage gave the best of all she had left to the man of God. And she trusted. Jesus tells us: “Seek first the kingdom (of God) and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides.” We need give God first place in our lives and then place all our trust in him. He will not disappoint us, even though we may for a time have to endure trials. Let us remember what St. James tells us:
“Consider it all joy, my brothers, when you encounter various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. And let perseverance be perfect, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” (James 1:1-4)
So, it may look chaotic out there. It may not make sense. But God is most definitely in control, and all will end in his triumph and glory as Our Lady promised at Fatima. “In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph.”
Mother Angelica pray for us!