In 1997, through a series of most unusual events, which I’ll leave for another title, I ended up living in Mexico City. I was sent there as a missionary of Divine Mercy.
NICE!!! You may say…. But it wasn’t all that nice. It was a one way ticket…… some money…. to last me forever… ..and no one asked me if I knew anything about Divine Mercy!.
Because all I had left of all my possessions was in a suitcase, that’s all I took. Among those possessions, I had a Kodak camera and 2 rolls of photos. To last forever….!!
I tried to be VERY frugal about everything I had. But there were some things that pierced me to the core of my heart I took one whole roll of them. I believe the same things affected Jesus similarly.
To explain that I’ll have to back track some.
In 1994, I was there, in Mexico City, for the first time in my life. I was there for 3 or 4 days just to see my sons from afar. Well, you see, they were both seminarians and I missed them so, so much, that when they both were sent to Mexico City for a global celebration, I went there too, not to join in the celebration but just so I could see them one more time. So, when I arrived there, the first thing I did was to take a taxi to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, run thru the atrium, making my way to the Shrine, elbowing my way passed the hundreds of people there. I made it to the steps, ran straight up and ….. without saying a thing, not even booo! to Blessed Mother or Jesus, I turned around, facing the people, now at a higher advantage point I made a visor out of my hand, I began to look for my children.
I was scanning the perimeter in search for the bus bringing the seminarians in, and ….suddenly, my eyes went blind. Black. Blacker than the dead of night….. then I saw something like a flash light shining down from above on certain individuals.
The poorest of the poor.
In the thick crowd they are completely invisible. There was the skeletal woman with a baby hanging on her back in something like a shawl, her hand out begging for a coin. A 4 yr old or so, cross legged on the ground, with stump of half arm he held a Avian plastic bottle and with the other a twig. He was rhythmically accompanying himself as he sang, a little cup in front of him for alms. These individuals, invisible to the tourists, to those milling around , to those like me, oblivious to anyone but me and what I was looking for…. I grew conscious of another pair of eyes sharing what my eyes were seeing.
In a flash, all came back as normal. Those, to whom Jesus had drawn my attention to, were once again invisible, lost in the thick crowd of people everywhere.
I stood there speechless, like I had just crashed my car, but it was my mind what had crashed. Slowly the thought was forming in my mind…
I was looking for my children. And Jesus showed who they were. I instantly understood my vocation. I am a lay Missionary of Charity, of Mother Teresa. God called me. I was only looking for my children and God switched them, he took them for Himself and gave more.
When my trip ended, I did get to glance at my sons. They looked like archangels. I cried again when I saw them. I miss them so much. But I cried just as much when I was bording the plane back home to US. All I kept thinking was that I had left my heart at the steps of the Shrine and I was now leaving without a heart. I cried all the way back, in the limo that picked me up, on my bed, for days I cried because my heart was left at the steps of that Shrine with those horrifically poor people that Jesus drew my attention to.
Back to 97, I retraced my steps and picked up my heart and looooved those poor people that I wanted to serve, and I was now one of them. Totally poor, but with Christ and for Christ, I had come back.
So I took a whole roll of pictures of those people. They were my children, they were deeply imprinted in my memory.
Well, sort of.
I did make my way back to US some months later, and how I did that will be another title as well, and my next job was to paint a painting for the Marians of Immaculate Conception priests. That was my 4th painting EVER, and they hung it at the Candle Shrine of the Divine Mercy in Stockbridge. As I was painting I was so impressed with myself that I took my camera out and began to chronicle this extraordinary painting coming out at the end of my brush.
After all was said and done and the painting was hanging at the Shrine, I was now on my next 2 paintings for them, and rejoice!! Now I had a little money to develop those pictures, the ones that I had just taken of the painting and ….. the ones that I had taken before that … were soo deeply imprinded in my mind, but had forgotten about…. Yeap, you got it. I took one whole roll right over the other I took in Mexico!!!!!
And what you see above is one of those double exposed pictures. This one is the one that impressed me the most. Uncanny how this poor, poor woman and the face of Jesus, MY JESUS, came out so exactly superimposed. I know, call me dimwit, to have forgotten that I took all those pictures a few months back, pictures that pierced me so deeply and …. and totally forgot I had taken them…….
Yes, you got it, call me dimwit. But look what Jesus did with it!!!!!!! Amazing!!!!