Sometimes it’s incredible to find extraordinary truths about our faith through ordinary events, experiences, and everyday things. According to St. Bernadette of Lourdes, “when we have faith we can see God in everything.” This is something that has just recently happened to me. A new truth was revealed to me, through a piece of common, ordinary thread. And you know what? It was amazing!
As common and ordinary as a piece of thread may be, it serves a very useful purpose. It keeps our clothes intact, and when combined with other threads, it can make a beautiful garment. Threads can come in different shapes, sizes, colors, and forms! It can be used for sewing, crocheting, upholstering, mending, and decorating. In fact, St. Bernadette, one of the most beloved saints from France, excelled in the art of sewing. The precision and attention to detail that Bernadette applied to her sewing, she also applied to her prayers, penance, and obedience of faith. Throughout her life, Bernadette was continually mending her ways and enhancing the spiritual fabric of her life and the lives of those she touched. How can we do the same in our lives?
God “Sews” us to Himself
First, let us never forget that God loves us so; He knows the very fiber of who and what we are. “You formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother’s womb…My very self you know. My bones are not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, fashioned in the depths of the earth.” [Psalm 139:13-15]
Yes, we are made in God’s likeness; we are clothed in the dignity of the image of God; and yet we are still prone to sin. Perhaps, Bernadette was meticulous in her ways because she knew that just as pulling out a little thread can create a hole in a beautiful garment, committing a sin—no matter how small—damages the integrity and quality of our precious lives and souls. So what can we do to emulate St. Bernadette and carefully tend to the very fabric of our lives?
Mending Our “Patches”
Like little Bernadette, with the time and attention we put into our prayers, penance, and obedience of faith, we too can be clothed in a new self, “created in God’s way of righteousness and holiness in truth” [Eph 4:24]. As we continue mending our own patches through the gifts and graces that our Lord has bestowed upon us, we begin to see God’s own weaving in our lives. Our hearts begin to open and our lives become changed for the better.
For those of us who worry or become anxious with everyday life, we must remember what Jesus said, in the book of Matthew: “Learn from the way wild flowers grow. They do not work or spin. But I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was clothed like one of them. If God so clothes the grass of the field, which grows today and is thrown in the oven tomorrow, will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith?” [Matthew 6:28-30] We are called to entrust our lives to our Lord in order to grow in our faith.
“Threading” Our Purpose
How often do we feel that our lives are tearing apart at the seams? Sometimes we may feel overwhelmed with our daily lives and not know what to do. Other times we may feel that everything we do is so common and ordinary. We may become discouraged with the idea that what we do has no real or useful purpose. In times like these, we must look to St. Bernadette and learn from her. She was an impoverished, sickly girl chosen by God, through Mary our Blessed Mother, to bring us the healing spring of Lourdes. Despite the physical and emotional challenges Bernadette faced throughout her life, as well as her self-doubts, she knew her purpose. In her obedience of faith, she offered up her prayers and her works for the love of God and for the conversion of sinners.
Even with our daily challenges, worries, and doubts, each and every one of us has a purpose—to love the Lord our God and to love one another as God loves us. That purpose keeps our life together individually and as a whole. By sharing the love God gives to each of us, we can bring the beauty of His healing grace through our common, ordinary living to our world which desperately needs it!
“Weaving” Ourselves into God’s Plan
As we continue deepening our faith lives and seeking the Kingdom of God and all of His righteousness, we will begin seeing the true meaning and purpose of our lives. We begin experiencing a transformation that allows our inner goodness to come through us by the way we live and treat ourselves, and treat one another.
As we continue weaving our way in this life, let us begin considering all that we do in a day in terms of our career, home life, relationships, health, chores—even something as simple as sewing a button—as offerings of love to God for the sake of our salvation and the salvation of the world. As we join in our prayers, good works, and acts of faith, we begin weaving together a beautiful tapestry of love for God and for each other.
So let’s go back to the beginning of our simple and ordinary thread. Although our life may seem common and ordinary, like a piece of thread, God gives each of us a purpose. With every prayer, we strengthen our ties with Heaven for ourselves and for humanity. With every act of penance, good works replace sinful acts, selflessness overcomes selfishness, and hope is given to the hopeless, bringing the beauty of God’s love into the world. And like St. Bernadette of Lourdes, with our obedience of faith, we say yes to follow God’s will and His way in all that we say and do every day, enhancing the spiritual fabric of our life and the lives of those we touch. Amen!
Carol Monaco is an independent writer and speaker. For the past 17 years, she has been the writer/editor of Journey to Our Lady, a spiritual publication that helps readers seek out a closer relationship to our Blessed Mother, who draws the faithful closer to the Holy Trinity. From her Journey, Carol has authored Treasures of the Rosary and Heavenly Mother Help Me; Prayers, Poetry and Prose for Daily Living, as companions for individuals trying to live their faith every day. Her devotional columns can be found in Liguorian magazine, CatholicStand.com and Catholic365.com. Carol’s spiritual reflections, poetry, and prayers are available on her web site: www.journeytoourlady.com and on Twitter: Carol Monaco @journey2ourlady.