May is a month that is filled with momentous occasions. There are first Communions and confirmations. You might also have a wedding or a baptism in your family.
These events are all sacraments, and we know that a Sacrament (with an upper-case “S”) is, as St. Augustine explained, “a visible sign of invisible grace.”
The seven sacraments transform us. Through ordinary elements such as bread, wine, oil and water, which are made holy though the power of the Holy Spirit, we are strengthened spiritually. We encounter Christ in a sacrament, and we experience God’s infinite love.
But do you realize that some of the more ordinary activities in our lives also allow us to experience God’s grace?
Maybe you will take part in less momentous events this month like a Mother’s Day brunch, a springtime walk through the park, a trip to the zoo, a birthday celebration, a graduation or a family picnic on Memorial Day weekend.
These events and activities are also sacramental (with a lower-case “s”) because they, too, are conduits of God’s grace.
Take, for instance, the walk in the park or the trip to the zoo. Doesn’t the beauty of flowering trees or the lives of the animals speak to us of God’s grace?
Doesn’t the joy of Mother’s Day, the excitement of a birthday celebration or the fun of a family picnic reflect God’s love for us in our love for one another?
Isn’t a graduation a milestone that helps us see how God has loved and supported the graduate (and all of us) through the years?
It’s easy to recognize and appreciate God’s grace when someone in the family celebrates a Sacrament (with an upper case “S”). But, sometimes, we overlook the little miracles of God’s grace in our everyday lives. We need to put on our “God-colored” glasses so that we can see the presence of God in the sacred moments happening all around us.
Seeing God’s presence each day
- Start the day with a simple prayer asking God to help you recognize his presence throughout the day.
- Be aware of the little miracles that happen all around you in the thoughtfulness of others, in the beauty of nature, in the peacefulness of an ordinary moment.
- Make it a point to thank God — out loud or in the silence of your heart — each time his presence is revealed to you.
- Help your children to recognize the presence of God by taking time at dinner to talk about how God was present to each member of the family throughout the day.
- Before you go to sleep, think back on the many ways you experienced God’s presence in your day and allow yourself to glow in the warmth of God’s love.
- Promise yourself that tomorrow morning you will once again put on your “God-colored” glasses so that you won’t miss any of the spectacular experiences that God is waiting to reveal to you and your family.