Mark P. Shea is a popular Catholic writer and speaker. The author of numerous books, his most recent work is The Work of Mercy (Servant) and The Heart of Catholic Prayer (Our Sunday Visitor). Mark contributes numerous articles to many magazines, including his popular column “Connecting the Dots” for the National Catholic Register. Mark is known nationally for his one minute “Words of Encouragement” on Catholic radio. He also maintains the Catholic and Enjoying It blog. He lives in Washington state with his wife, Janet, and their four sons.
Recently, physicists have been postulating that most of the universe is made of “dark matter” and that the stuff we can see is only a small fraction of what is actually going on out there. I think this is a nice image of how God works in the spiritual world as well.
One of the reasons God is able to get so much done under the devil’s nose is because the devil firmly believes in the Big, Loud, and Flashy and does not consider the small, quiet and hidden to be important (except when he’s sneaking around trying to tempt people on the sly). Pride doesn’t believe in humility and so cannot conceive that God would primarily manifest himself in humble ways. The great model of this is the Incarrnation, which did not surround itself with all the trappings of this world. Indeed, Jesus refused the devil’s urging to surround himself with the big, loud, and flashy and would neither do publicity stunts like leaping from the Temple parapet, nor grab the glitz and flash of all the kingdoms of the earth for the low, low cost of worshipping the Prince of this World. He lived among the poor and anonymous and was the servant of all till the day he died.
The world (which lieth in the power of the Evil One) continues in the pattern the devil set for it ever since the Fall. Result: when the media cover world events, they focus overwhelmingly on the Big, Loud, and Flashy. Powerful people, glamorous celebs, rich men and woman and their glittery quarrels and huge empty victories, wars, explosions, the rise and fall of the mighty, that sort of thing. Meanwhile, the millions of rounds of unnoticed rounds of mercy and grace are the reall story—the dark matter—that God invests his time in, speaking to one heart at a time in his still, small, voice that goes deeper into our lives than all the carnival barking of Satan.
Here is one such story of a moment of grace that changed a life forever, far away from the flash and glitz of this passing world.
Do you have such a “dark matter” story of grace somewhere in your past? Care to share it?