“Behold I am with you always, even to the close of the age.”
Jesus promised that He would never abandon His people; He promised that He would remain until the end of time. Jesus walked the earth over 2000 years ago, yet He is still present and active in the lives of His people. He is with them. However, recognizing God’s presence in our world today takes a ‘trained eye’ and an act of faith. Jesus can most readily be recognized through the witness of Christian people, people who acknowledge and testify to the power and presence of God in their lives. The ‘Encounter with Christ’ stories help to highlight how God is working in the lives of the people in the parish of St. Magdalen’s Church. These stories are meant to help those who read them to more easily recognize God’s presence in their own lives. God wants to be known by you and to work in your life—invite Him to do so.
Raised in the Assemblies of God Church, my relationship with Jesus was personal and secure at a tender age. However, all things Catholic were foreign to me and sadly misunderstood. A love for the visual arts motivated me to enroll in 4 years of art school where I studied the world's great artists,and traveled abroad on several occasions. I remember a particularly powerful encounter that occurred while standing inside the Vatican, at Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome, staring at Michelangelo’s Pietà. There was Mary, enveloped in graceful acceptance, lovingly and tenderly holding her son's limp body. I could feel the weight of our crucified Lord upon her lap. Looking back now, I see this as my first powerful introduction to our Blessed Mother. Another profound moment occurred while sitting through Mass inside Germany’s Kölner Dom (Cologne Cathedral). Amidst sacred music, billowing incense and grand stained glass windows, I felt strangely at home. Not yet Catholic, my heart was being stirred!Years later, by the Holy Spirit’s gentle prompting I enrolled in RCIA, and was welcomed into full communion with the Catholic Church in April of 2011.
Today, I continually encounter Christ in the beauty that surrounds me. A sunrise, a sunset, Autumn colors and fresh fallen snow. I see God's beauty in my family, and in my third grade CCD students, each of whom are ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’ (Psalm 139:14). Whether created, constructed, painted, sculpted or sung,God used and continues to use beauty to reveal himself to me over and over again. Encountering Christ through art and beauty, I've been brought into the fullness of truth and safely home to Christ's Church.BACK TO LIST