You see, this boy who I had only just met was yammering on about things he had no real knowledge of. His perceptions of the Church had been cultivated not by reading primary texts or researching on his own but rather were given to him by others who had also not done any independent research. His flawed interpretations had been passed down through generations of people who had all clung to the same flawed interpretations. But I listened quietly with mild interest and a modicum of incredulity because I could tell he was a talker who very much enjoyed the sound of his own voice and I didn't want to get "involved".
But then he said something derogatory about Mary. The real Mary. The Mary who carried our Lord in the safety of her womb. Who was chosen by God to protect our Savior in His most vulnerable state. Who was afraid and confused but who agreed anyway. Who was forced to travel a great distance while hugely pregnant. Who had to give birth to her very first child not in a sterile hospital or a comfortable inn or in the safety of her own home but rather in a barn. Surrounded by animals. She was chosen, of all the women on earth and in all of time, to carry out that most harrowing and glorious of tasks.
That boy dared to take her supreme act of devotion, her pure and gentle heart, and crush it under the heel of his bitterness. That boy, who didn't know any better, who in fact probably knew much worse, thought he could throw out a few seemingly harmless words of condescension and be met with a nod of approval, or at the very least a blank stare of apathy. Especially from me. I mean, I wasn't even Catholic after all.
Neither he nor I was prepared for the wave of righteous indignation that washed over me in that moment. The ache I felt in my heart knowing that he would never seek to love Jesus with same boundless affection as His mother had, that he would never be able to turn to her for inspiration and strength, that he would instead freely cling to a disdain born of an unwillingness to soften his heart, was almost more than I could bare.
The words tumbled forth from my untrained mouth like water rushing through a broken dam. Words that I could not have spoken of my own accord even if I had a tried. Words I can only attribute to the incredible power of the Holy Spirit. Those words almost certainly did not change that boy's world but that most certainly did change mine.
If I, a girl who laughed too loud and drank too much, not yet even baptized into the saving grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, sitting in the cluttered living room of an unkempt college apartment, could defend the dignity and absolute holiness of the Blessed Virgin Mary, her incredible place in the very fabric of human history, to a boy I didn't even know, what other miracles did the Holy Spirit have in store for me? How many more signs did I need? I needed none. But He in fact had many more. And my life has been miraculous and unbelievable ever since.
If He can work those miracles in me, a selfish, petty, insignificant person who is most certainly unworthy of any special consideration, I ask you: what miracles can He work in you? How many more signs do YOU need?