Wednesday, August 11, 2004

The Clues that Lead Us Home

FINDING HEAVEN: Stories of Coming Home by Christopher de Vinck
When his son asked for proof of heaven, Christopher de Vinck began looking around him for the clues that God leaves in everyday life. The result was this book of 30 reflections about those clues and how de Vinck became aware of them. I like to read this book when the world is too hard and I need reminders of how simple faith really is. It is simply written but that does not make it any less true. Highly recommended.
I have come to my faith in a simpler way. I came to my own faith long before I could read, long before I attended Catholic school or Mass. I believe in the existence of heaven and in God because my mother told me it was true. It was as simple as that.

My mother would not lie to me. When I was a child, she pointed out the moon to me. She held kittens in her hands and had me listen to the extraordinary sound of hearts beating. She was right about those things, so I believed her when she told me about Jesus. Jesus promised us that there was a heaven, and my mother told me about that promise. So I believed.

But when that early certitude of faith began to wane, I trusted in companions and signs to bring me back. I'm like Hansel and Gretel, who dropped stones along the way into the forest so they could find the way home. I'm like an old sailor, looking to the stars for guidance across the great seas. God places little stones for us to follow through the dark woods of life. God places certain stars in our hearts so that we can take a measured reading and determine where we are when we feel lost.

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