I have been a Catholic all 54 years of my life. I remember as a small child, kneeling before the statue of Our Lady of Grace and looking at the snake under her feet. It stuck out in my mind how someone so beautiful and gentle could yet be so brave! The next really good memory I have of my faith, looking back is on my Confirmation Day when the Archbishop told us "Now you are soldiers of Christ!" Those words came right to me and stuck with me for all these years. During all those 54 years growing up I never missed Mass on Sunday unless I was really sick. I have received so many blessings and seen so many little miracles that are too numerous to mention.

I met my husband in Catechism at the Church when I was in the 7th Grade....and started dating him in the 9th Grade...we dated 9 years before we were married, (since we were so young)....We just celebrated our 30th Wedding Anniversary (October 1, 2001) We have 4 children and 2 grandchildren (so far). I remember one day when I was a new mother for the first time, kneeling down and praying the rosary....I had really never done a rosary before....but I did the best I could....ever since then the Blessed Mother hasn't taken her arms from around me....she has brought me so close to her Son. I received quite a blessing from our Lord 9 years ago when my oldest son, then 22, became ill with schizophrenia and bi-polar disease. At the time, I didn't see it as a blessing...all I could do was ask "Why?" I remember crying, and praying before the Blessed Sacrament...asking Jesus "Why Jesus? Why did this happen? I don't understand all of this." Then I looked down and saw a hymn book, opened it and there on the page where I opened it was a hymn....and the words were taken from Scripture:

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the LORD. As high as the heavens are above the earth, so high are my ways above your ways and my thoughts above your thoughts." Isaiah 55:8-9 NAB

Then I knew....just trust in Him....total trust. All that happens to us...is for the greater good... because it is a gift from the one who has formed us....who breathed life in us....who knows our coming and our going....our Father who loves us more than we can ever imagine. So many things have happened to me since then to deepen my faith and my love for Him. I never needed a sign to believe but He has given me many signs to confirm my faith....maybe because I never asked, I don't know. I pray that others who read this will take that first step....turn your heart over to Jesus....without any sign....just trust in Him. It's after you take that first leap of faith....without any signs.....that He then reveals Himself to you.

God Bless you and keep you close to his most Sacred Heart.

Nancy V

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