Katie Faley: ‘God moments’ — times in life that seem heavenly orchestrated
Cause of Our Joy l Katie Faley
Have you ever had a “God moment”? They’re those moments throughout ordinary life where something is just so obvious that it’s been orchestrated by God.
God is speaking to us all the time silently in our hearts, but it’s nice to have some concrete “signs” every once in a while. We don’t need these “God moments” to have faith, but they’re like little affirmations from heaven that God is present and has a good plan for each of us.
I’ve had a couple of these just in the past week, which is a lot!
THE SAINTS AS “GLORIFIED STALKERS”
I’ve long said that saints are glorified stalkers. From heaven, they follow us around — different saints for different times in our lives. But, there’s usually one or two saints that really stick with us throughout our lives, popping up just when we think we’ve gotten rid of them for good.
This week, while teaching my fourth and fifth grade faith formation class, we were celebrating saints and talking about our favorite patrons. A picture of St. John Paul II hangs on the wall in the classroom, and the students asked if I knew who it was. I gave them the fast-forward version of JPII’s life — from Poland, loved art, soccer, hiking, pope for a long time.
The kids, having been born in 2013, were not familiar with this modern-day saint. But, half of the class loves art and the other half loves sports, so they were smitten and proceeded to ask a million questions about him. Saints truly are the best for getting kids interested in the faith.
John Paul II wasn’t part of the original lesson plan on saints, but I was happy to make a diversion if the kids were into it. Near the end of class, we were going through a deck of saint trading cards I got at Lagron-Miller. Out of the hundreds of cards, we randomly choose three every class. Who was our very first randomly chosen saint? John Paul II. The kids were as blown away as if JPII walked into the room himself. There’s nothing better than sharing God moments with children.
TIMELY STREAMS OF SUNLIGHT
My second God moment came just the evening before when I was at Mass at St. Joseph Church in downtown Peoria. It’s gorgeous, the oldest church in Peoria, with beautiful hardwood floors, stained-glass windows, and giant wooden doors. (In fact, it is the same church where German sisters came looking for help in the 1800s to start a hospital and serve the poor in Peoria — that hospital became OSF HealthCare.)
It had been a gloomy Saturday — gray and rainy, no sun to be seen. Right after the moment of consecration of the Eucharist, the sun broke through the clouds and shone directly through one spot: the stained glass window depicting the Annunciation. It didn’t just shine through the whole window. It shone right in between Mary and the angel Gabriel, directly under the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove. It was a blinding kind of light. Immediately, the sun disappeared behind the clouds again and it was gloomy. In spite of sounding like a cheesy infomercial salesman, I must say it.
But wait! That’s not all!
At the moment the priest held up the Body and Blood of Jesus and proclaimed the words,
“Behold the Lamb of God,
Behold Him who takes away the sins of the world.
Blessed are those who are called to the supper of the Lamb.”
Once more, the sun broke through the clouds and shone in the same exact spot through the stained glass between Mary and Gabriel, and this time, it was even brighter. The stained-glass window depicting the moment Jesus, the light of the world, became present on earth. The sun shining through that spot right at the moment when Jesus becomes present at the Mass in the Eucharist. A God moment if there ever was one.
Do you have any significant God moments? Feel free to share them with me via email at email@example.com.
KATIE FALEY is a member of St. Mark Parish in Peoria and a writing coordinator for OSF HealthCare. She has a master’s degree in theology and theological studies from the University of Notre Dame.