Think about those times in your life when you have felt inspired to something really great. Where does that inspiration come from?
The Holy Spirit. God inspires us to do great things with our lives.
----Matthew Kelly

Welcome to The Not So Perfect Catholic!

Disclaimer: I am not a theologian, just a Catholic empty-nester trying to figure it all out. The views on this blog are my own.

When God Says No


I prayed. I prayed hard for the latest test to come back with no new information. God would do that for me, right? He has given me a fairly easy life with no major catastrophes. He has answered every prayer and has taken care of me. Surely He would answer this one, too and we could continue on with our original plan. Except this time, the answer was "no". 

How does someone without faith get through this? Is my faith being shaken? Definitely. I was so sure that everything was going to come back the way I wanted it to. These results really threw me for a loop. Over the past month, I've been strong. Sure, some tears have been shed, but I haven't "ugly cried". That is, until yesterday. 

I spent some time in the Adoration Chapel after work, just looking at the faces of Jesus on the Cross, the Divine Mercy, and Mary. Searching their faces for some kind of answer, some reason why I was told no. I actually felt the arms of my parents around me, telling me I was going to be alright, that I'm strong and I have my Faith. I was also reminded that Mary lost Joseph before Jesus went into His public ministry and was put to death. She relied heavily on her Faith. My thought was, yeah, but God was the Father of her Son, so she had that going for her. I suppose she still could have been angry with Him for putting her through all of that, but she knew it wasn't about her. Maybe, just maybe, this isn't about me.

I was also reminded of an aunt, the sister to whom my mom was the closest. She took care of my grandmother for years, and then took care of her husband who eventually succumbed to cancer. She is a saint in my eyes. I wonder if she ever asked God why she was told no, or if she understood. It's times like these when I feel so completely lost without having my parents to lean on. To not have the wisdom of my aunt to guide me through this journey that I don't want to be on. 

As I gazed at Jesus crucified, I saw the tears in His eyes. I thought I saw the blood dripping from His lanced side; His blood washing over me in His mercy. When I looked into His eyes as the Divine Mercy, I saw compassion and kindness. And the tears came and wouldn't stop. They continued as I prayed the Stations of the Cross. That night when I went to bed, I had more tears. So now I can move on since I got that "ugly cry" out of the way.

A very wise friend told me that God didn't tell me no, rather, He gave that answer to my husband. But in doing so, He also told me "no". I have to keep hoping. I have to not only keep my Faith but strengthen it. This scripture verse has been in the Mass over the last week or two: 

In an acceptable time, I heard you, 
and on the day of salvation I helped you. 
Behold, now is a very acceptable time: behold, now is the day of salvation.
-2 Corinthians 6:2

I believe in miracles. I have to hold on to the hope that we will see one. In a prayer from St. Thomas Aquinas, I am reminded to ask for the grace to be able to be "obedient without complaint, poor without regret, patient without murmur, humble without pretense, joyous without frivolity, and truthful without disguise." (from The Way of the Cross: Praying the Psalms with Jesus by Fr. Mark Toups-Ascension Press)

Even though I feel that God told us "no", I think maybe He is telling us "yes" to something else...something bigger that we just can't fathom right now. I have to thank Him for the life He gave me and the strength to accept the grace that He will bestow on me in the future. Even if He says no to what I want, He has a plan made just for me. I have to have the grace to accept it.

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