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Evil is best defeated through humility. There’s no sting when you have ridded yourself of “self.” That doesn’t mean you’re supposed to lose your dignity, or neglect your needs. It means you’re to place all of God’s needs above yours and the needs of others on a par with your own; such renders evil harmless.


When there is love, faith, and humility, there is actually a “glow” around you. It is the protective bubble. It is the radiation of the Holy Spirit. It envelops those who emulate Christ and forms around their beings like molding on a painting, like a museum’s sublime backlighting. Such is represented as a halo.


The more we conform to the desires of Christ, the more glory He sends around us. That comes with a sense of well-being, which is contact through love with God. 


With the touch of His favor is also a sharper intuition. We’re more perceptive. We see with a new clarity. Where sin and evil cloud our ability to choose wisely, holiness leads to wisdom. Where before we saw only a murky picture of the world (if we “saw” anything), we now view the spiritual landscape.


Our spiritual blinders are lifted and the God of signs sends more of them. Call them “signal grace.” We get confirmations. This happens when God has responded to humility and the person has been patient with firm faith in the outcome to the end (along with resignation that if it’s not in God’s Will, it won’t happen). We must know how to go with the flow; as Sirach says, we should not try to stand against a raging stream; and to do that we have to know where the flow is going (which requires watchfulness).


Important point: we should never want anything too much -- except closeness to God.


That’s a key test of life, accomplished best through selflessness, which allows us to see straight. Along that path are God’s markers to orient us. He is involved with every aspect of our lives and as John Paul II said, “in the designs of Providence there are no mere coincidences.” The Lord can work through the subtlety of a conversation or can splash the sky with rainbows, can even skywrite, can exhibit startling specificity. We will never understand how He does it.


A bird will gently totter toward you, a kind stranger will appear, a rainbow will be there on a clear day (and visible during an entire 25-mile trip). I know entire groups that have seen strange “falling” stars. We can say that it’s a natural phenomenon, but they come too frequently at certain places of prayer and at poignant times. “We started about 10:00 p.m. praying the Stations of the Cross along the way,” says a man named Al Thorrez Jr. of a pilgrimage.


“Once we arrived at the Cross, we said some prayers and then looked for a level place to lay our heads about 11:15 p.m. We found a place about forty feet from the Cross to ‘set up camp.’ The four of us lay down (coincidently in the shape of a cross), and started to pray together as a family holding hands and taking turns thanking God and presenting petitions and then concluding with the Our Father and Hail Mary. While I was thanking God, I saw a very vibrant shooting star and paused briefly to see what would happen to the ‘star.’ After we finished our family prayer, I explained why I paused during the prayer and all my family had seen the shooting star, too. A few seconds later, we saw another shooting star. My younger son, Clayton, started counting them. I had actually seen one earlier in the night. Without going into loads of detail, it was tough to close our eyes and get some sleep because we kept seeing shooting stars. I counted over thirty shooting stars while my younger son counted 22 (he also said he twice saw two simultaneous shooting stars). About three a.m. I opened my eyes and saw light emanating behind the Cross. As I leaned forward to see where the light was coming from, I beheld a double crescent moon. I took some pictures which look very similar to what I saw with my naked eye.”


These are actual accounts.


From Malayasia. From Tobanga.


Birds will circle with joyous calls.


License plates? “I was going through a horrid period of self condemnation, unforgiveness, and depression for events that had happened in my life,” said a woman named Celeste Taylor. “I was not close to God in any way. I did not go to church. I was driving on the southern California freeway and talking to myself about how worthless my life seemed and questioning whether my existence even mattered! It was a major low point in my life. I will never forget the brown Mercedes SL that came up from behind and swooshed past me on the road. Before it was out of sight I had gotten a chance to see the license plate 'URFRGVN'.


The well-known and powerful evangelist, Tom Rutkoski, of Evans City, Pennsylvania -- who died last June -- once related an instance that occurred on August 5, 1991.


"It was in response to a request I made of the Lord," wrote Rutkoski, a former television-news cameraman, who was ready to become a lay minister but wanted confirmation. "'If this is really You, Lord, working in my life, I would like a sign in the sky that I can photograph,' [I had prayed]. I was asking for a confirmation because I wanted to give my whole life to Jesus.


Rutkoski said it came in the way of a cloud and the cloud that contained the shape of a cross and symbols of the Blessed Mother as well as the Father, Son, Holy Spirit.


Others independently witnessed the same cloud and, later, the formation reappeared in the sky at places where Rutkoski went to preach. In 1996, before one of his talks on Long Island, a Nigerian priest was shocked to see the same cloud formation.

It was also witnessed by a couple after a talk Tom gave in Vermont.


"This image has followed me around the world as I go evangelizing," said Rutkoski. "People tell me, from time to time, about a very definite cloud shape that appeared over their towns before, during, or after my visit." On one occasion, when rain was predicted to wash out a planned retreat, Rutkoski vowed to the weatherman at the TV station where he worked that "the power of God" would halt the rain. The meteorologist laughed (the prediction was that it was going to rain hard all day, a virtually hundred-percent chance) and, indeed, when Rutkoski peered out that morning, it was raining miserably.


"I looked up into the sky and spoke to God," he recalled. "'Hey, God, You said if I wanted to move a mountain, I could, if I had enough faith. So I ask You, with the faith You taught me to have, please stop this rain, part these skies, and bring the sun out. There are six hundred people coming here to pray and they will not come if it is raining. Oh, and if You are going to do this, You will also need to bring a lot of wind because the road is all mud now and people will not be able to drive on the road to get to this farm.’


Recounted Rutkoski:


“That moment the rain ceased. The clouds rolled back, and the sun came out. And then the wind began to blow.


“In one hour the road was dry and people from all around the area came to our farm to pray.


“They all had the same words on their lips: 'How could it be raining everywhere but here?"

[adapted from The God of Miracles]

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