Sunday, April 17, 2016

Hope of the hopeless ...

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When all is lost, you still have Our Lady.  She's refuge of sinners.  I think she must have a company of sinners with her - a huge company in this vale of tears.  People not completely cleansed - some who keep falling into sin, but also keep praying to her, maybe just lighting a candle.  I think it was Anthony Bloom who wrote about the prostitute who kept a candle burning before the icon of Our Lady in her apartment - a sign of prayer which eventually saved her.  I also seem to recall a myth about Our Lady going to hell to save sinners - or even setting hell free at the end of the world.  I'm told some Orthodox subscribe to that notion.  I don't know anything about that, although I believe what the Catholic Church teaches on hell - so I don't think too much about the myths.

Although, in a metaphorical sense, I can imagine something closer to reality - Our Lady descending into our misery - freeing sinners from their suffering.  Years ago, before my return to the sacraments, I used to dream - daydream or hallucinate perhaps - that I saw Our Lady, always dressed as she was at Fatima, but I could never see her face.  Her back was always to me.  Sometimes she seemed to be a statue, appearing to turn towards me, as if someone was turning the base of the statue towards me, but she never turned enough for me to even see her face - perhaps just her hands folded in prayer.  (I use that image frequently in my art.)

Anyway, I look back on that experience as a sign and a call.  A sign that Our Lady was with me even when I was far away.  I see it as an invitation to follow her, to strive to see her, and the only way was prayer - as she showed me by only revealing a glimpse of her hands folded in prayer.

Later, after I returned to the sacraments - I no longer tried to see her face - it wasn't necessary.

So anyway - never give up hope.

Now I'm old and I still have nothing except my confidence, my hope, in Our Lady of Mercy, Hope of the hopeless, who welcomes sinners and gives them refuge.


  1. I believe that for me to arrive at heaven's gate, taking refuge in the Mother of Mercy by seeking her example and asking her to teach me and to help me love Jesus will one way most assured.
    Gracias a Dios!

  2. That was a beautiful dream, Terry Nelson and it does seems the Blessed Virgin Mary was inviting you to 'come closer', etc. I was baptized at a church 'Nuestra Senora de la Esperanza', 'Our Lady of Hope', (thanks to my parents taking me there), and when I read that expression, 'to hope against all hope', when 'things' are really going from bad to worse to worst, it gives me a little hope and consolation, actually!...


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