Join Christopher Ruff as he weaves prayer, reflection, fellowship, and service in this six-session DVD series. Bundled with his Discipleship Series book Who is My Neighbor?, the sessions reflect on vital themes rooted in the Gospels and connect them to men and women who have lived out Christ’s message in remarkable ways.



Friday, January 5, 2018

Living the Beatitudes

The following is from the Introduction to Blessed Are You, the newest title in the Discipleship Series.  It is focused on the Beatitudes.

The Little Man and the Beautiful Lady

I was in the fourth grade when Sister Mary Michael told our class the story of St. Juan Diego and the beautiful Lady.  Juan Diego was a simple, indigenous laborer, she said. He was passing through the countryside on his way to Mass when Our Lady appeared to him in a shining cloud on Tepeyac Hill, in what is now Mexico City, and entrusted to him a message. He was to go ask the bishop on her behalf to build a church at the place of the apparition.

The good Bishop Zumárraga gave Juan Diego an audience and listened kindly to his story. Not surprisingly, though, he was skeptical. As Juan set out for home, the beautiful Lady appeared to him again and he told her what had happened. “I beg you to entrust your message to someone more known and respected so that he will believe it,” he said. “I am only a simple Indian whom you have sent as a messenger to an important person.”

She replied, “My dearest son, you must understand that there are many more noble men to whom I could have entrusted my message and yet, it is because of you that my plan will succeed.” 

I was spellbound as Sister Mary Michael told us the rest of the story, culminating in the moment when Juan Diego opened before the bishop the folds of his tilma, his cloak, which concealed a bouquet of the finest Castilian roses. They had been placed there by the Lady as a wondrous sign of her wishes, since it was impossible to find such roses in the dead of winter.

At once Bishop Zumárraga fell to his knees – but not at the sight of the roses tumbling out of the tilma. He was transfixed by the tilma itself, which now bore the miraculous image of the Mother of God.