Since today is the Feast of Guadalupe the second reading in the Office of Readings in the Liturgy of the Hours has the account of the miracle by Don Antonio Valeriano from the sixteenth century.
While I already knew the details of the story, I was struck by something while reading it again. The fact that just the Castilian roses were really enough of a miracle in itself to convince the Bishop of the authenticity of Juan Diego’s contact with Our Lady. Or at least good evidence when investigating his claims. This combined with the life and humility of Juan Diego certainly provided solid evidence in this regard.
The aspect that struck me is that God went further and produced the miraculous image on Juan Diego’s tilma. I started thinking about how often God works in our lives and how the answers to our prayers can seem so astounding. Yet when we look back at this we might see that this answer to prayer was multi-level and was even more amazing in further effects. That we can be really joyful in an answer to a request and reflect later that this initial answer had secondary effects that were larger in scope in your life and for others.
That God not only will answer our prayers but in a way that is unexpected and better than our initial request. Our Lady of Gudalupe’s answer to prayer became a miracle of evangelization and devotion. No doubt we only see the surface of this effect, even if amazing in itself. Plus we can’t see the future horizon of the effect.
This also makes me realize that probably in the majority of cases we don’t see secondary effects. Whether they are answered prayers or seemingly unanswered ones. It probably won’t be until the General Judgement that we might understand this. I guess this is the iceberg of prayer and that still only seeing the surface we can be thankful for this and trusting God regarding what we are unable to see.
We know that in everything God works for good with those who love him, who are called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28).