October 21st, 2010

orchid, spring

"Where there is great love, there are always miracles."

I started reading Willa Cather's Death Comes for the Archbishop this weekend (for reasons which are clear to some of you).  At the end of Book 1, I hit the portion for which I had picked up the book in the first place.  Which turns out to be about Our Lady of Guadaloupe.
The Padre modestly presented Bishop Latour and Father Joseph with little medals he had brought from the shrine; on one side a relief of the miraculous portrait, on the other an inscription: Non fecit taliter omni nationi.  (She hath not dealt so with any nation.)
    Father Vaillant was deeply stirred by the priest's recital, and after the old man had gone he declared to the Bishop that he meant himself to make a pilgrimage to this shrine at the earliest opportunity.
    "What a priceless thing for the poor converts of a savage country!" he exclaimed, wiping his glasses, which were clouded by his strong feeling.  "All these poor Catholics who have been so long without instruction have at least the reassurance of that visitation.  It is a household word with them that the Blessed Mother revealed Herself in their own country, to a poor convert.  Doctrine is well enough for the wise, Jean; but the miracle is something we can hold in our hands and love."
    Father Vaillant began pacing restlessly up and down as he spoke, and the Bishop watched him, musing.  It was just this in his friend that was dear to him.  "Where there is great love there are always miracles," he said at length.  "One might almost say that an apparition is human vision corrected by divine love.  I do not see you as you really are, Joseph; I see you through my affection for you.  The Miracles of the Church seem to me to rest not so much upon faces or voices or healing power coming suddenly near to us from afar off, but upon our perceptions being made finer, so that for a moment our eyes can see and our ears can hear what is there about us always."