Thursday, July 14, 2005

Precious Medal

Reading The Kolbe Reader recently on my daily commute, I noticed how, over and over, St. Maximilian stressed the importance of the Miraculous Medal. Among other things, he considered it a weapon against heresies—once, in Russia, he even went so far as to secretly bury a number of the "silver bullets" in the gardens outside the Kremlin.

The Kolbe medal that I'd taken to wearing around my neck suddenly made me feel a little embarrassed. Not that there was anything wrong with it, but it struck me that, if I were to meet Kolbe, he'd find it sadly amusing that I was wearing his image rather than Mary's. Kolbe pointed to Mary—it seemed awkward that I should merely point to him.

It reminded me of a joke I'd read as a child about Mickey Mouse wearing a Spiro Agnew watch.*

Last Sunday, I made the trip up to the Church of Notre Dame at Columbia University, a beautiful church with a lovely service. Afterwards, over refreshments, I noticed a parishioner was wearing the Miraculous Medal, and I asked her where I could get one.

A young man who was standing nearby with his wife immediately proffered me a Miraculous Medal he'd apparently been carrying for just such an opportunity.

It took me a moment to process that he was actually giving me the medal. Then I thanked him and took it happily. It was one of those magical moments of serendipity.

Not that there's anything magical about the medal itself, as the Web site for the Association of the Miraculous Medal notes:

There is no superstition, nothing of magic, connected with the Miraculous Medal. The Miraculous Medal is not a “good-luck charm”. Rather, it is a great testimony to faith and the power of trusting prayer. Its greatest miracles are those of patience, forgiveness, repentance, and faith.
One can never have too many of those kinds of miracles. I'm thankful to be able to wear something beautiful that reminds me of them.

FURTHER READING:*Corrected upon waking from "Richard Nixon watch." I can't believe I remember that. I must have been four years old at the time and reading my sister's copy of Mad magazine.