Throughout the week, at odd moments, topics of interest will float through my head. Possible themes, the occasional fully-formed sentence, even a flash of brilliance will hit my very busy brain and I will think, "That's what I will write about next!". Sometimes I am able to put fingers to keyboard and follow through but most of the time my every day life jumps in front of me like a cow on the railroad tracks and I just have to slow down and attend to business. The classrooms have to be set up, appointments with stressed parents kept and grocery shopping for my mother has to be done. Life happens. It is a marvelous and maddening thing.
Recently I had one of those "what would you do with three wishes" kind of day dreams. My mind went to the usual stuff - money, property, prestige - and then I started toying with the idea of having the power to direct an authentic Marian Apparition.
First I thought about the various people close to me that I know are struggling mightily in their walk on earth. I even thought about asking Our Lady to appear to President Trump or Vladimir Putin, or a variety of evangelical religious leaders. I thought about her showing up at a huge gathering of American Bishops so they could stand in front of her and explain what the heck they have been doing to her Son's Church.
These thoughts produced a few sighs, a couple of giggles (I am sorry, but the idea of Mr. Trump trying to explain himself to Our Lady of Guadalupe was really funny) and then a startling realization.
Our Lady is never sent to those in power here on earth. She is always sent to deliver the message of her Son, Jesus Christ, to the least of the Father's children.
Whether it be an asthmatic little girl in France, three peasant kids in Portugal, a scared child in Africa or two shepherd children in the hills of Europe, Jesus asks His mother to speak to those no one would even notice. People would not consider them important and in the earthly scheme of things they are not. No money, property or prestige for them; rather, they are given the revelation of how our sins are affecting the world, that there IS such a thing as hell and that the souls going through purgation of earthly attachment need our prayers. She doesn't tell politicians about the threats of entire countries gone off the rails, she tells children no one believes and who had parents who actually beat them in order to get them to stop talking about seeing her. She didn't give a Pope the mysteries of her Rosary, she gave them to a priest so dedicated to Preaching the Truth and serving the poor that he was willing to found an entire order dedicated just to that - Truth in poverty, Love in Service.
I thought about what would happen if Our Lady DID show up in the Oval Office. Would her heavenly splendor, her status as the Queen of Heaven, The Ark of the New Covenant, cause its occupant to pause and ask her what he or she should do? And if the president responded to her direction (Do whatever HE asks you to do) with fervent love and sudden devotion, how long would it take for that 25th Amendment to be invoked? After all, we cannot have someone devoted to Jesus and actually trying to follow His Teachings in the White House - too many jobs depend upon that place remaining a seething cauldron of intrigue, sin and ugly power struggles. People do not give up their status without a fight.
Allowing myself to contemplate what would happen if we had another Miracle of the Sun during, say, Superbowl Sunday, allowed me to realize how important our unknowns are in The Church. Somewhere, right now, there is a quiet man or woman or child, kneeling in prayer and talking directly to the Queen of the Angels, the Mother of God herself. Somewhere, in a small room without distraction or in a cave in the forest or in the shadow of a date palm in the dessert a child, a humble monk, a woman scorned and shunned is being told something important, something that will eventually shape our lives.
I know that my role in the Church is important. I also know I am only a small part of a great whole. I recognize that I am important to Our Lord and that my Heavenly Father needs me to be close to Him.
What I also know, however, is that my role is not the most important and may never be the one touted on YouTube or in a great cavernous hall. It matters - but not nearly as much as the role of the humblest of servants.
Whoever you are, please pray for me.