A friend once shared with me that growing up her mom used to say to her, “Say three Hail Mary’s before noon on Tuesday and something good will happen to you by Friday.”  She loved doing this as a child, but as she grew, she came to think of the practice as a silly superstition.  However, by the time I met her she was in her late 50’s and she had come to appreciate that, far from being a silly and superstitious practice, her mom had been conveying an important lesson.  This simple statement had inspired her to develop the habit of looking for the good things God was doing in her life and in looking she saw just how much she had to be grateful for.  God truly does do good things for us.  The problem is we are often too busy and distracted to notice.

This memory came back to me last week when, several times, I saw clearly God’s hand at work in my life.  Two weekends ago, my husband and I helped with a retreat.  A few hours before it began, I was feeling anxious and nervous.  I was sharing my fears with the Lord and felt a nudge to open up the Magnificat.  The reflection read, “Go forth to do the work for which God has elected you.  He will be your right hand so that no difficulty shall move you, he will hold you by his hand so that you may walk in his path.  So be of great courage, and may your courage endure.”  The reflection seemed to have been written just for me and was exactly the encouragement I needed to hear!

Several days later, my co-worker was preparing for a training.  The topic was, “Getting to Know our Neighbors.”  Just a few hours before the training, this “Catholic Way Of Life” weekly email was delivered to her inbox as well as to all of the participants in the training.  The lead quote for that week from Mother Teresa was:  “I want you to be concerned about your next door neighbor.  Do you know your next door neighbor?” You might just put down to coincidence that I happened to be writing about the same topic she was teaching on.  But I find it a bit harder to put the timing down just to coincidence for two reasons.  I often am writing these reflections several weeks in advance.  I had no idea this particular one would coincide with the training. Further, I had accidentally scheduled this to come out on Wednesday instead of Thursday which is our normal practice.  Coincidence?  I don’t think so.

Lastly, a co-worker was sharing her fears about a responsibility she had taken on with several of us.  One co-worker piped up, “Let me share with you the Scripture quote that always comes to my heart when I am worried about something.  He shared his quote and she exclaimed, “That is the exact Scripture text I was praying with this morning!”  I believe the Lord wanted her to hear one more time that He had confidence in her abilities.

God’s hand at work in my life is not always this obvious, but when it is, I am encouraged and my faith is strengthened.  My prayer this week is that you, too, are encouraged and strengthened through God’s hand at work in your own lives!

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Barbara Scherr
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