It’s Never Enough

Nearly three years ago, I was preparing to go to my first World Youth Day pilgrimage. I was excited but saw it more as a vacation than anything. At that point, I had begun losing faith and was bargaining with God. My hope was that while I was in Krakow, Poland, I would feel God’s presence and that would mean that He existed. While packing, I remember thinking that if I didn’t feel it, then that was that; I wouldn’t believe anymore.

Once I got to Poland, I was surrounded by Catholics and people that wanted nothing more than to share the love of God with me. Sure, we had to stand in lines everywhere we went, but it gave us the chance to talk to people about their lives, culture, and faith. At each event, there was always the comforting wave of people singing Ave Maria in multiple languages, their voices rising in unison. The Holy Spirit was all around me, affecting the hearts and minds of us all.

Still…I hadn’t heard the voice of God directly, so I was upset. At every church and every chapel, I found myself praying and begging for a sign until I was in tears. I just wanted to know that He existed, to know that He loved me, but I wanted to physically hear or see it.

It’s so crazy because I look back at that 10-day pilgrimage and wonder how I could have been so blind. I mean if three million Catholics traveling from all over the world, all believing in a God that we cannot see, touch, or hear, wasn’t enough for me to validate God, nothing would ever be enough. How could I ask the world of God when He had already given it to me?

While reading today’s Gospel, Jesus’ words made me think of that summer. “Amen, amen, I say to you, you are looking for me not because you saw signs but because you ate the loaves and were filled” (John 6:26). The disciples were searching for Jesus because of the huge, physical miracle that He had just done, not because of everything else that they had witnessed or heard him say.

Similarly, at World Youth Day, I was ignoring all of the signs and waiting for an earth-shattering miracle. It wasn’t until a couple of weeks after World Youth Day that I was finally open to seeing the ordinary things around me as signs from God. It was at that point that I had the hindsight to realize that I was given a hundred signs in Krakow, I simply chose to disregard them.

Too often, we are given glorious signs, but they just aren’t enough. We feel the tug in our hearts, but we tell ourselves it’s just a feeling. We see the tiny miracles changing lives every day, yet do not believe.

While we may pray to God all the time, we often forget to listen to his response. Allow yourself to believe in the miracles that God does in our daily lives. Believe in the little signs that are sprinkled throughout your life. Recognize the tug in your heart as the Holy Spirit trying to show you the right path.

Click here for tips on how to hear God’s voice in your life.

Contact the Author

Veronica Alvarado is a born and raised Texan currently living in Michigan. Since graduating from Texas A&M University, Veronica has published various articles in the Catholic Diocese of Austin’s official newspaper, the Catholic Spirit, and other local publications. She now works as the Content Specialist in Diocesan’s Web Department.