Julie Paavola, All Rights Reserved. Julie Paavola, All Rights Reserved.

Let it snow!

As I write this, it is freezing cold in the Midwest and there is more to come. Chill factors of 20 below don’t conjure up happy thoughts for most people, but there is a bright side to snow for me: it reminds me of grace.

Many years ago, I read about Therese of Liseaux who was preparing to take the habit as a Carmelite. She was experiencing great doubts and struggle as the day approached.

The morning of her clothing a quiet snow covered the courtyard of her monastery. The darkness was lifted from her soul and she felt at peace. Therese was overjoyed by the sight! To her it was a sign of God’s blessing on her vocation.

Another snowfall of grace I remember happened at the funeral of a beloved uncle. He was a man who loved the church, went to daily Mass, and became a lector when it was a new lay ministry. The day of his funeral mass was cold and gray. The somber mood matched the day. During the service, however, as friends and relatives began to share the stories of my uncle’s life, the mood changed to one of quiet joy.

After the service, the doors of the parish swung open and the casket was carried out first. I’ll never forget the gentle and beautiful snowflakes falling on the casket. I interpreted the snow as a sign God was pleased with the life of my uncle, his faithful servant, who had so many time proclaimed the Word in His Church.

My third snowfall of grace happened the day I gave birth to my first child. It was late April…in North Carolina! He was born around noon and late that same morning Carolinians looked out their front doors, shocked to see a thin blanket of snow on the ground. It was a sign to me of the Lord’s loving blessing over this new chapter in my life: motherhood.

This winter season, as we deal with delayed school and stow days, let us all try to see the graces hidden among the inconveniences and extra bundling up. Snow as a sign of grace? Why not?

copyright 2015 by Julie Paavola

Image: Julie Paavola, All Rights Reserved.