Sparks of God

Twenty years ago you came in a beam of light
shining through the clouds of my youth
carving a cross on my heart

I sat in the library
at green mountain college
on my birthday in December
praying desperately to see the true meaning of life

Is it Buddha
Is it Brahma
Is it native spirituality?
Lord tell me if Jesus is truly the Son of God and the way

Instantly the sun came out from behind a thick wall of clouds
and I knew without any doubt that Jesus would be my savior for life

Two friends in particular when I was young,
Mike and Doug, shared their faith and conversion stories
They planted seeds and sparked a fire
That will burn forever.

After many years of trying different churches of all denominations, I started going to Catholic Masses, where I felt a sense of peace and a powerful presence. I decided to get confirmed and the process made me confident I was at home in the Church that Jesus formed. Since then I have been to Fatima, Lourdes, The Vatican (with Pope John Paul in 2000), Garabandal in Spain and various spiritual places. I believe in the true presence of Christ in the Eucharist and continue to read and pray to grow my faith. God sometimes feels distant and life can be dark but often it is in those times, if we push through it prayerfully, that we can experience true graces of the holy spirit that inspire us and renew our faith. When my mother died, too young, of a stroke in her fifties, my faith was put to the test. I got on my knees and prayed (at Mass General Hospital) that she would come out of her coma. I saw in my mind the gates of heaven opening for her and was given a message that it was her time to go and that it was meant to be. That really helped me get through an awful time but also made me realize, if you think your Catholic and have faith, think again! You may not realize how real God is untill such experiences make you question the ultimate facts of life. If she is dying, will I ever see her again? Is heaven real? If I truly have faith I will see her again? This increased my faith when I responed by trusting that my visions were a grace and that God is truly real. Even though I had a powerful conversion 10 years before, my faith needed a reality check. And more tests have come my way than I could have ever dreamed. I believe that God tries the ones he loves but it is for our own benefit and that we grow from it and our suffering has a purpose.  Thank God for the sacraments and the Saints that help us get through it all and bring the spirit into our lives and help us pass it on to others.

John McDougall

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