I really need to be prudent, I told myself. My college friends and I were traveling to Poland during our semester abroad, and we had just arrived in the town of Częstochowa. Overnight bus travels, hours of walking, and late nights had led me to feel quite exhausted, and I knew I needed be more disciplined in getting rest.
My friend came and told me that a special First Saturday all-night vigil was happening in the church. The doors were locked but our friends had found a Polish woman who would let us in and show us the Icon of Our Lady. But it was already after 10pm and I had just promised myself that I needed to be "prudent."
Thankfully, I decided to just go and check it out.
The kind Polish woman had fed our friends homemade pierogies and then led us into the locked church. Her presence felt like the virtue and generosity of perhaps the Blessed Mother herself. She told us to ask big things from God that night. "No small potatoes," she said as she encouraged us to offer our biggest intentions to Jesus through Mary. The church was packed full of pilgrims, but she led us through the crowd right up to the altar. Below the Icon of Lady of Częstochowa, we consecrated ourselves and the whole world to God, through the intercession of Our Lady, Queen of Poland.
Hearing that a small group of American college students were present, they invited us to lead a decade of the Rosary. I stepped up to the pulpit, took the microphone, and led the first half of the Hail Mary in my native language as the entire church responded, finishing the prayer in Polish. I felt so far away from home, and yet at the same time, so welcomed in this foreign country, and so connected through God and Mother Mary.
My mistaken understanding of "prudence" had almost kept me from experiencing the most beautiful night of grace, belonging, and blessing.
When has God shifted your ideas of virtue and given you abundant blessings, though you originally thought you should be doing something differently? Re-read today's Gospel (Luke 16:1-8) about the dishonest steward and ask the Lord for insights.