Friday, August 7, 2015

Devotional 8-7-15

Ephesians 4:7 But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. (NIV)

“The invalid German nun had never traveled outside of her home country. The daughter of 18th-century peasants, she was no scholar. Yet, awaking in a trance, she was speaking in a language no one knew.

A linguist was called on the scene. The nun, he revealed, was speaking Aramaic. And she was describing the house where the Virgin Mary spent her final days.

This was not the first vision of Sister Anne Catherine Emmerich, who conversed with the Child Jesus and received the stigmata. But it was the first time that many began to give credence to her descriptions of a house near Ephesus (in modern-day Turkey) where Mary spent her final days — descriptions she had previously given in her own dialect.

What she described, recorded in a book called “The Life of The Blessed Virgin Mary,” was a small stone house, built by the Apostle John who, according to popular belief, brought Mary with him from Jerusalem to Ephesus. The house had a fireplace, apse, round back wall, a bedroom for Mary, and a spring that ran into her bedroom. After Mary was taken to heaven, said Emmerich, the house was turned into a chapel.

Sure enough, a late-19th century expedition to Nightingale Mountain (near Ephesus) revealed a site with holes in the ground for a cistern and a well, along with a destroyed chapel whose foundations likely dated from the first century. In the minds of many, Mary’s house had been found.

Today pilgrims from all over the world travel to Bülbül Dag (Nightingale Mountain) to see the site where Mary may have spent her final days. They come as faithful Catholics, as Christians, as Muslims (who revere Mary as Jesus’ mother), as curious tourists. They come to pay homage to the Virgin Mary, to attend Mass in the chapel built at the site, to drink the waters of the spring, and to leave heartfelt petitions — on handkerchiefs, scraps of paper, even leaves — at a wall constructed for the purpose.“*                                                  
God used Sister Anne Catherine Emmerich. By earthly standards it would seem a strange choice. But God often uses people who would seem a strange choice by our standards. What about you and me? God uses each and every one of us. Maybe not in quite as dramatic a way as he did Sister Anne Catherine Emmerich. But, He still uses us. When I pray I sometimes feel God pushing me to do things that take me out of my comfort zone--sometimes way out! More often, I think God  puts us in situations where we help someone and may never know the difference we have made. Embrace God, pray, and let God work through you!


Margaret Williams

No comments: