Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Tara K. E. Brelinsky

5/17/2014 (1 year ago)

Blessings In Brelinskyville (brelinskyville.blogspot.com)

Focusing In On the Miracles All Around Us

Just as the monstrance was rounding the corner, she said, it stopped directly in front of her and paused. She noted that the monstrance had been on the move prior to this specific moment when it stopped before her (the tiny hairs on my neck stood on end). That flush of excitement and awe overcame me as I envisioned Jesus walking straight up to my lovely friend, radiating His glory directly upon her fair countenance. Had He physical arms, I imagine they'd have been outstretched with His pierced hands cupping her tender cheeks while their eyes locked in communion. Chills tingled down my spine.

Snowflakes are one of God's miracles. Each snowflake is uniquely shaped with infinite possibilities.

Snowflakes are one of God's miracles. Each snowflake is uniquely shaped with infinite possibilities.

Highlights

By Tara K. E. Brelinsky

Blessings In Brelinskyville (brelinskyville.blogspot.com)

5/17/2014 (1 year ago)

Published in Blog

Keywords: miracles, Brelinsky, Eucharist, photography, cancer, retreat


ZEBULON, NC - Spying her from across the room at least half a dozen times in recent months, for some reason the connection was short-circuited each time. Either she was heading toward some other business or I was, or one of us was engrossed in conversation with some other confidant.

She'd been on my mind and in my prayers, this beautiful mother of six who is currently engaged in a fierce battle against breast cancer.  I merely wanted to check in on her, but the timing made it difficult.

Pray for someone you love and light a virtual prayer candle.

As Providence would have it, we finally attended the same retreat. The first sighting of her lifted my spirits higher, hoping we'd end up sharing the same table so I might get a bit of time to hear her sweet, gentle voice and soak in her wise reflections during the round table discussion. But once again the union was circumvented when she sat at the table on the opposite side of the room.

Oh well, I thought. My prayers are enough for her (and for me).

The retreat, on the seven last words of Jesus, began and my attention was diverted from the failed opportunity. Listening to the speaker, I recognized this day was far more than a social event, it was a chance for a personal encounter with Christ. Having never given much thought to Jesus' last statements or the trouble it caused Him to make them, I was undeniably intrigued.

My focus was drawn to the speaker's guided direction and to her explanations. As she recounted several anecdotal stories from her own life, the theme of miracles kept emerging for me. Miracles fascinate me as they seem to abound everywhere, but rarely do we take an inventory of them. Since the retreat subject wasn't really about the miraculous, it seemed rather curious that I couldn't keep my mind from wandering back to the idea.

The day ended with a self-serve, delicious lunch allowing women to circulate within the adjacent rooms, but I was tethered to my chair by a sleeping baby (trying to feed myself one-armed without dropping soup in my lap). That's when she found me alone and the long-awaited connection fused. My dear friend sat beside me. We played a little catch-up and then she shared an intimate experience.

She and her children had attended a Eucharistic retreat for youth a few months prior. My husband was the food coordinator and our sons had participated, so she assumed I'd been there, too (just that the forces keeping us apart were at play that weekend as well). Apparently, during that event there was a period in which all of the attendees were seated in a large circle and Christ Jesus, in the Blessed Sacrament, was processed carefully and reverently around the room. She'd been seated beside my husband, positioned in a corner seat.

Just as the monstrance was rounding the corner, she said, it stopped directly in front of her and paused. She noted that the monstrance had been on the move prior to this specific moment when it stopped before her (the tiny hairs on my neck stood on end). That flush of excitement and awe overcame me as I envisioned Jesus walking straight up to my lovely friend, radiating His glory directly upon her fair countenance. Had He physical arms, I imagine they'd have been outstretched with His pierced hands cupping her tender cheeks while their eyes locked in communion. Chills tingled down my spine.

But then my friend did it (what we all do too often), she shrugged her shoulders and attempted to write this miracle off as mere coincidence or her own misinterpretation. Perhaps, the monstrance just seemed to pause by her because she was sitting in that corner spot. Maybe, it hadn't really hung around any longer for her than anyone else, she reasoned. Now that theme, which had been entertaining my attention all morning long, seemed all the more relevant and reinforced.

Of course, not, I told her with all confidence. Of course, Jesus Christ had paused for her. Of course, He, knowing her heroic battle and obedient heart, wanted her to feel His very real Presence, to encounter Him in a tangible way. Yes, He was Present for everyone at that Eucharist retreat, but the miracle was for her just as the woman with the hemorrhage received a personal healing in the midst of the crowd. His power was not randomly seeping out to all those followers who were pressing in on Him No, it rushed out to one woman who dared to touch the tassel on His cloak and believe that would be enough.

My friend looked me in the eye and smiled, explaining that she hadn't told anyone else about this encounter. She'd been pondering it all in her heart. It would seem, she said, that we were supposed to talk on this day precisely. All those missed opportunities to unite prior to this conversation were part of a bigger plan. God needed to prepare me before hearing her story so that I would recognize the miracle; and she needed to hold onto her private encounter until she could release her doubts and accept the full merit of the gift she'd been given.

Another talented friend of mine Suzanne Temple, is an avid photographer. She often uses a camera lens that magnifies the subject she is capturing. Photos such as hers are the ideal depiction of miracles in our world today. Through her camera lens, she reveals the hidden wonders which our naked eyes overlook. How many times I'd seen snow drifting to earth, but never before had I witnessed the intricacy of a single snowflake. Her photography unveiled another layer of nature that I'd taken for granted.

Macro photo of dandelion by Suzanne Temple


Miracles are like that. We generally miss them when we are focusing through the wide angle. And then we are accustomed to dismissing them as insignificant and random, as though that which is difficult to see is simply not worth looking for. However, like each flake of snow, a miracle is a wonder capable of changing our landscape. True, miracles can effect our circumstances without recognition, but how much more awesome our world becomes when we look for God's handiwork and find it all around us.

Tara K. E. Brelinsky is a home schooling mother of eight living children, with six more heavenly ones who intercede. Married to her childhood sweetheart, they make their home in North Carolina where they teach Natural Family Planning, grow a garden, raise two dogs, a cat, ducks, roosters and a flock of hens (in addition to all those wonderful kids). Tara studied journalism a lifetime ago in college, but now she writes simply for the the glory of God. You can read more of her musings and inspirations on her blog "Blessings In Brelinskyville" (www.http://brelinskyville.blogspot.com/).

---

Tara K. E. Brelinsky is a home schooling mother of eight living children, with six more heavenly ones who intercede. Married to her childhood sweetheart, they make their home in North Carolina where they teach Natural Family Planning, grow a garden, raise two dogs, a cat, ducks, roosters and a flock of hens (in addition to all those wonderful kids). Tara studied journalism a lifetime ago in college, but now she writes simply for the the glory of God. You can read more of her musings and inspirations on her blog.



Comments


More Blog

This Is The Way; Walk In It

Image of 'No matter which way you go, go with me' says the Lord.

By Jackie Stammen

My heart seems to be in a continuous state of pondering the many questions scattered and spinning around in my head. I guess all hearts do this - or perhaps assuming so is my way of rationalizing my little bit of crazy. NASHVILLE, TN - Mondays are usually a battle for ... continue reading


The Secret to Raising a Saint

Image of Make your family life the best it can be, through love and Faith.

By Tara K. E. Brelinsky

Comparing their family to mine, I noted how soft-spoken and gentle they all were. From modest, tidy clothes to neat hair styles, their five children always appeared well groomed and respectful. Whereas (in my estimation), my brood of eight off-spring are more often ... continue reading


Dear Younger Self, Here's 5 Things You Don't Need to Worry About

By Tara K. E. Brelinsky

If I could go back and counsel my younger self, here are the top 5 Do's and Don't s I'd offer:* 1 Don't worry so much about appearances.* 2 Don't try to raise a star athlete, concert pianist, math wizard, novelist, ballerina, and black-belted karate kid.* 3 Don't do ... continue reading


Witnessing Miracles - Visualize all that God has Prepared for Those who Love Him

Image of 1 Corinthians 2:9 says,

By Shelly A. Schneider

1 Corinthians 2:9 says, "What no eye has seen and no ear has heard, what the mind of man cannot visualize; all that God has prepared for those who love him." NASHVILLE, TN - As a human being, there are things of this world that I do not know or understand: disease, ... continue reading


Wrestling with the Human Teenage Brain Watch

Image of Developmentally, teens and early 20-somethings are not at the place where they are concerned about (or even thinking of) the consequences of their behavior.

By Shelly A. Schneider

Christopher, our oldest, has come such a long way. At 22, he is serving his country as a soldier in the United States Army. Jim and I are incredibly proud of how he has grown in spirit, mind and body over the last 18 months. He has a plan for his life and is ... continue reading


S is for Shelly...and Sinner

Image of 'S' is for Sinner & Saint.

By Shelly A. Schneider

You've heard of the 'Scarlet Letter,' right? The woman in the novel wore a large red, 'A' on her person to signify her act of adultery.  NASHVILLE, TN - My act so many years ago had nothing to do with adultery, but I'm walking around these days with a giant ... continue reading


Laugh Today. Laugh Often. Laugh Heartily. Watch

Image of Woman laughing out loud.

By Jackie Stammen

It is always astounding to me how therapeutic laughter is. Laughter brings happiness. NASHVILLE, TN - Years ago I spent a lot of time with someone who would make fun of my laugh. I have a loud, hearty, and recognizable (maybe an even embarrassing laugh) and I guess he ... continue reading


Abortion: A Litmus Test for Believers Watch

Image of Pregnant? - Choose Life

By Chaplain Adele M. Gill, RN, BSN

August 3rd, 2015, was a tragic day in the life of Americans on both sides of the abortion debate, as the Senate voted 53-46 to continue funding Planned Parenthood. Both the abortion industry and US politicians have recently been exposed in America as ... continue reading


Christ has put us on earth to act as beacons that give light

Image of St. John Chrysostom - Feastday September 13

By Michael Seagriff

As we bemoan the apparent disintegration of the moral fiber and structure of this once great nation, we most recognize our own significant contributions to this tragic outcome - remaining silent in the face of evil, reluctance and fear to teach and defend the ... continue reading


Holy Spirit, watch over my children as they drive! Watch

Image of I pray for my children's safety every time they get behind the wheel.

By Shelly A. Schneider

Christopher and Michael have their driver's licenses, and our 17-year-old daughter, Sam, will test for the license any day now. There are so many thoughts that bounce around in my head when I realize that the person sitting next to me in the Mocha Machine (our pet name ... continue reading


All Blog News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Thessalonians 5:1-6, 9-11
1 About times and dates, brothers, there is no need ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 1st, 2015 Image

St. Giles, Abbot
September 1: St. Giles, Abbot (Patron of Physically Disabled) Feast day - ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter