God is Painting a Masterpiece

"God is painting a masterpiece" by Ellen Mongan (CatholicMom.com)

Image credit: Pexels.com (2016), CC0/PD

When I was a little girl, my daddy used to say, “Life is an empty canvas. You can paint on it, whatever you want to.” I wanted to paint a masterpiece. What about you? What are you painting on the canvas of your life? The stories he told and the life lessons he taught painted in my soul the faith to believe that nothing was impossible with God.

I am so thankful that my dad passed down to me the wings of hope. I, in turn, did the same with my seven children. As they left the nest they were ready to soar, as high as an eagle, and eager to make a difference in this world.

Along with giving them their wings and encouraging them to paint their own masterpiece, I taught them to see. I tried to give them eyes of wonder, to see life as a miracle and give them ears to hear the voice of God in their hearts. I tried to feed them the word of God and the Truth of our Catholic faith daily, through prayer and example. Those eternal words were sewn in their soul. Now as a seasoned mother, I water, weed, and pray that one day it will produce a great harvest. I fervently pray for conversion of their souls.

Miracles happen, but the greatest miracle is a change in the heart where God alone works. With a heart set on God alone, nothing is impossible. That is the greatest masterpiece of all, and that is the example of the saints.

One of my favorite ways to learn my faith is to study Bible characters. The Gospels give a glimpse of the growth in character of the disciples from when they met Jesus and invited to follow him to his death on the Cross. Like many of you, I count John as my favorite. He always showed up with a heart of love.

Peter, however, is the disciple who teaches me the most. Peter learned by mistakes. He always showed up, but with a backpack full of pride and a “what about me” mentality. He was one of Jesus’ closest friends and did not mind boasting about it. Peter began his journey with Jesus as what we might call a brash “know-it-all.” Jesus continued to walk with Peter and to talk to him. He did not demean Peter. It was never Jesus’ style. He taught by example and spoke His Father’s words of eternal life. Then one day, Peter got it. The seeds Jesus had planted in Peter’s heart day after day, year after year, finally took root and produced a harvest.

What was Peter’s turning point? I think it was when Peter knelt and said, “Depart from me Lord, I am a sinful man” (Luke 5:8). Slowly and unseen by the world Jesus was removing the pride in Peter’s heart and replacing it with a heap of humility. A miracle began in Peter’s life. What did Peter paint on the canvas of his life? He painted a masterpiece.

Just like the lives of the disciples, we can look back on the lives of our children and see them grow and change. We, like Jesus patiently led by example and words, plant seeds and pray for a harvest. All the while, Jesus is doing the same thing in our hearts.

Somewhere along the way our eyes are open to see God and the miracle of life. Our ears eventually are attuned to obedience. Eternal words are sewn in our souls. A miracle is happening inside our hearts, unseen. Slowly, God is changing us within as we spend time with Him.

"God is painting a masterpiece" by Ellen Mongan (CatholicMom.com)

Copyright 2020 Ellen Mongan. All rights reserved.

Father Jomon, a Holy Cross priest, came to our parish this weekend with the relics of St. Andre Bessette to celebrate the Feast of Blessed Basil Moreau. He spoke to a captivated audience. Faith was evident in the room. The parishioners had eyes of wonder as each came forth to touch the relic. Their hearts were open to miracles.

Miracles do happen. The greatest miracle is in the heart, I wanted to shout out loud. I, who believe in miracles, prayed fervently. May this be the day that their miracle happens. Along with his prayer I added my fervent desire, as I do at each Mass, a prayer for conversion of souls.

Some may have gotten their miracle that day. Some may not. All hopefully received a miracle within their hearts: seeds planted by God alone. Those seeds will remain unnoticed until harvest time. It is then they will reveal a masterpiece to the world. They will know like Peter, that it was painted by the hand of God, first in their heart, then revealed to the world.

What masterpiece is God painting in your heart? Wait for it! A work of God can never be rushed. Let God reveal it to the world.

Copyright 2020 Ellen Mongan


About Author

Ellen Mongan, a Catholic writer and speaker, has been married more than 40 years to Deacon Pat Mongan. They have 7 children and 12 grandchildren. Ellen is a host of WOW Radio Podcasts, a religious columnist for the Augusta Chronicle, and has spoken on both radio and television. She is the founder of Sisters in Christ, Little Pink Dress Ministry, and Women-Fests.

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