Under the Mantle: Marian Thoughts from a 21st Century Priest

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Witness of Trust

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By Fr. Donald Calloway, MIC (Dec 9, 2014)
As we celebrate the feast of St. Juan Diego on Dec. 9 and look ahead to the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe on Dec. 12, this excerpt from Fr. Donald Calloway, MIC's Under the Mantle explains the connection between the apparitions of Our Lady in Mexico in the 1500s with the more recent Divine Mercy message and devotion, given to St. Faustina Kowalska in the 1930s:

It is estimated that during the distrusting rebellion of the Protestant reformation about 5 million people left the one true Church. And what did God do as a result? He gave the faith to a people that would trust him. It began with one little trusting soul, St. Juan Diego.

It's an historical fact that during that same exact period when so many people in Europe were manifesting a lack of trust in Jesus and his Church, God gave the miraculous image of Our Lady of Guadalupe to a little unknown nobody named Juan Diego — causing almost 10 million people to convert to Catholicism in less than a decade. And what did God see in little Juan Diego that he didn't see in the people rebelling in Europe? Trust. Saint Juan Diego trusted enough to be willing to look like a fool and take his tilma filled with roses to a bishop. He had no idea what would happen once he got there. All he knew was that he loved Jesus and the Church, and Mary told him to do this. So he did it. And the result of his trust was that basically a whole people converted to Catholicism. If large portions of Europe wanted to rebel and display a lack of trust in Jesus and his Church, God planted the faith elsewhere.

Is not the same thing happening today? Has not another image been given to the world today [the Divine Mercy Image] by means of an apostle of trust [St. Faustina Kowalska]? Is this not an age in which massive amounts of people have left the one true Church in favor of following their own ideas? And the irony — and the similarity to what happened in the 16th century — is that, just as many have left the Church in our times, God is filling in the gap by bringing about massive conversions to Catholicism from among Protestants! Many cradle Catholics are in rebellion against the Pope and the Magisterium (and the teachings of the Church), and they are causing discord and division. But God's response is to provide an image from heaven and bring about tons of conversions and reversions to Catholicism from among the Protestants! Where there has been a void created because of a failure to trust in Jesus and his Church, God fills in the gap. He gives the true faith to a new generation that will treasure it and trust it.

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