Divine Intervention, George Washington, Bernadette And Me

November 8, 2012 — 4 Comments

When God intervenes in history, I like the fact that He doesn’t attach warning labels or cordon off the area or put up police tape. I’d much rather be kept in the dark.

Lourdes Divine Intervention

“Alright folks, keep it moving––I’m in control here. Hey, kid, you with the baggy pants. Why aren’t you in school?”

You see, if I know someone else has the reins, I might be lazy in terms of solving the problem. For example, Tuesday’s election. Clearly, President Obama is the antithesis of Catholic values. Yet, here he is, all snuggled up in the White House plotting havoc on a myriad of fronts. I guess all I can do is plan a counter-offensive from the cheap seats with a blog as my only weapon.

God, you okay with this?

And then my powerful pea brain locks in on the fact that God is very much okay with this. Great good comes from terrible bad––the lesson of the Cross––so He’s cooking up something in His own mysterious way. But rather than back off and let Him fix it, He wants us to be trusting, patient but fully engaged in the battle with Him. We’re disciples of Christ.

This whole idea of divine intervention, the Presidency and faith makes me think of George Washington, Saint Bernadette and… me. More specifically, do the three of us have anything in common?

The back cover of David Barton’s book The Bullet Proof George Washington has the following summary. “George Washington’s part in the July 9th, 1755 battle during the French and Indian War is undisputedly one of the most significant events of his early years: his life literally hung in the balance for over two hours. This dramatic event helped shape his character and confirm God’s call on him.

“During the two-hour battle the twenty-three year old Colonel Washington had ridden to and fro on the battlefield delivering the General’s orders to other officers and troops. The officers had been a special target of the Indians. Of the eighty-six British and American officers, sixty-three were casualties. Washington was the only officer on horseback not shot down.

“Following the battle Washington wrote a letter to his brother in which he readily and openly acknowledged: ‘By the all powerful dispensations of Providence, I have been protected beyond all human probability or expectation; for I had four bullets through my coat and two horses shot under me, yet I escaped unhurt, although death was leveling my companions on every side of me!’

“Fifteen years later, an old, respected Indian Chief sought out Washington. The Chief, explaining that he had led the Indians against them in the battle fifteen years earlier, revealed to Washington what had occurred behind the scenes: ‘I called to my young men, mark yon tall and daring warrior. Himself is alone exposed. Quick let your aim be certain, and he dies. Our rifles were leveled, rifles but for you, knew not how to miss-–twas all in vain, a power far mightier than we shielded you. Seeing you were under the special guardianship of the Great Spirit, we immediately ceased to fire at you. I come to pay homage to the man who is the particular favorite of Heaven, and who can never die in battle.’”

Let’s now travel to a favorite part of my world. A fourteen-year old girl, Bernadette of Lourdes, had eighteen visions of the Virgin Mary in a grotto in France. The young girl was not sure whom she was talking to until a priest demanded that Bernadette ask the lady to identify herself. During the seventeenth vision, Bernadette repeatedly asked the lady for her name to which she finally responded, “I am the Immaculate Conception.”

Four years earlier, “Pope Pius IX had promulgated the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception; that, alone of all human beings who have ever lived, Mary the mother of Jesus was born without the stain of original sin. However, this was not well known to Catholics at large at that time, being generally confined to discussion amongst the clergy. It certainly was not an expression known to a simple undereducated peasant girl who could barely read.” I find Mary’s introduction to this young girl remarkable. The Lourdes visitations, the healing spring that Bernadette uncovered and the associated miracles are equally so.

It is said Christ so loves me that even if I were the only person on earth (aside from His executioners), He still would have endured the tortuous scourging and crucifixion to save my soul. Believing this, it’s clear to me that there are indeed similarities between George, Bernadette and myself. First, God has infinite love for each one of us. Second, the three of us believe(d) in God and the redemptive graces of Jesus Christ as witnessed by His life, death and resurrection. Third, we all trust(ed) in Him, acknowledge(d) His authority and accept(ed) His will.

Sadly, there’s one area of comparison where I come up short.

These great Christians walked hand in hand with God as He divinely intervened in their lives. Would it be too presumptuous for a simple man such as me to pray for such a blessing? That Divine Intervention should lay down a glorious compass route for the remainder of my existence?

For my readers, what are your thoughts on divine intervention? Has it affected your life? I’d welcome your comments.

  • Gina101

    Divine intervention is real! In fact, an unplanned trip to Lourdes in ’97 while in Europe brought about my re-version. It was so powerful and instant it took me by surprise. The uncontrollable tears that flowed as I fell to my knees near the Grotto awakened my conscience and heart. There was nothing I could do then but to follow the Holy Spirit’s call back to His Church. Thank you for blogging. Will follow. 🙂

    • Gina, thank you for commenting. I find these personal stories fascinating––sounds like an unbelievable moment. In one of my earlier posts, Reason, Faith and a Miracle, I wrote about a much more subtle moment. No fireworks and it took some time for me to appreciate what had happened.

      • Gina101

        I think I needed a 2 x 4 upside the head during that experience. There I was a lapsed Cradle Catholic steeped in sin. God had plans for me and I was delaying them. I’ll make sure to read “Reason.” Thanks. 🙂

  • Gina101

    P.S. Thank you for your service. Marine fighter pilot? You rock! 😀