God’s Surprises

"Let us ask ourselves today: are we open to 'God's surprises'?" - Pope Francis in "The Church of Mercy"

In celebration of the release of Pope Francis’s book, The Church of Mercy, several of our dotMagis bloggers will be sharing reflections this month based on the words of Pope Francis.

In Pope Francis’s 2013 Pentecost homily, he challenged us, “Let us ask ourselves today: are we open to ‘God’s surprises’?” When our hearts are open, and we are able to get beyond the fear of change and submit ourselves to God’s plan—even when it seems to conflict with our own plans—amazing things can happen. Amazing things like my husband finding God.

One of my favorite surprises from God came while I was dating the man who would later become my husband. He had called me one day to set up a date, and in scheduling I mentioned I had to get to Mass that day first. When he responded that he’d love to go with me, I was speechless (I am never speechless, though many of my friends surely wish that I was). We hadn’t been dating long, but I did know this was not a guy who had set foot in a Catholic Church. What on earth was this guy up to? I was suspicious, but something inside me told me to let him come. After all, I couldn’t tell him he couldn’t come to church, right?

My husband will tell you that he just wanted to spend time with me and figured that if that meant having to go to church to do it, then he would endure it. He’ll also tell you what a surprise it was to him that we didn’t just kneel and chant Latin stuff for hours on end. He actually enjoyed it, and he’s been going to Mass with me ever since.

I think God loves a good surprise as much as anyone, and it can be a fun way of revealing His plan for us. I am still amused when I think of how God used my husband’s attempt to get a date with me as a means to bring him into the Church. God is truly a God of wonderful surprises (even the wonderfully scary ones He sometimes sends). Yes, indeed, let’s open our hearts to God’s surprises, because God knows the wonderful places they might take us.

How has God surprised you?


  1. Hi I’m a real estate entrepreneur. Yesterday, I continue to be surprised by God in sales. I’ve learned to “see, sow, surrender” each sales situation to Him Bu;t He surprises me again and again. For example, he has given me the chance to be the “seller’s” broker with an exclusive listing. Then He also opened the chance to be the “buyer’s” broker. In effect I get the full 5% commission from both the seller and buyer’s side of the deal. Plus He surprised me by turning the deal into a “two bagger” since the seller of the house asked me to buy him a smaller house to move to once his house is sold. Surprised by God in real estate sales! Can you beat that? My consultation time with Him is the examan which I do in the morning. What was I most grateful for yesterday? What was I least grateful for? And I am surprised and amazed at the daily surprises He gives me. Thank you Jesus!!!

  2. I am a new visitor via Sacredspace and wanted to let you know about my God surprise. It happened today as I was feeding my dog. As I looked outside, there was the most beautiful butterfly I have ever seen! Happily drinking from the pink verbena,this yellow,black,and white butterfly stayed around for over 5 minutes! God is so good! Little things like this make my day! Love the site!

  3. Cara, what a beautiful surprise indeed! My surprise from God was almost the opposite. When my clergy husband decided to leave the marriage, I went to worship in the neighbourhood Catholic Church that Sunday because I really didn’t know where to go and I thought I could worship there quietly as no one knew me. But God knew me and drew me back week after week after week. This week I will celebrate the 10th anniversary of my confirmation in the RCC. What a surprise God had for me!!


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