At the mountain of God, Horeb,
Elijah came to a cave where he took shelter.
Then the LORD said to him,
“Go outside and stand on the mountain before the LORD;
the LORD will be passing by.”
A strong and heavy wind was rending the mountains
and crushing rocks before the LORD—
but the LORD was not in the wind.
After the wind there was an earthquake—
but the LORD was not in the earthquake.
After the earthquake there was fire—
but the LORD was not in the fire.
After the fire there was a tiny whispering sound.
When he heard this,
Elijah hid his face in his cloak
and went and stood at the entrance of the cave.
Of all the figures of the Old Testament, Elijah has always stood out for me. The most powerful of the prophets sent by God, he lived at a time of mass apostasy in the Kingdom of Israel. Under King Ahab and his Queen Jezebel, a daughter of the King of Sidon and a priestess of Baal, a great spirit of what many today would call ecumenicalism went forth, as Israel turned away from the stern God Yahweh, to the pleasure seeking ways of Baal. Elijah, his name means “Yahweh is my God”, would have none of it, and led the Traditionalists among the Yahweh worshipers who opposed the new spirit abroad in the land. The deeds of Elijah are well known, from the battle of the gods on Mount Carmel, to his being taken up to Heaven by a chariot of fire, but the most striking passage in his career is the incident of the still, small voice, set forth in today’s reading at Mass. Continue Reading
So ever the king had a custom that at the feast of Pentecost in especial, afore other feasts in the year, he would not go that day to meat until he had heard or seen of a great marvel.
When my children were small as the family drove to Mass, I offered the kids a dollar for the first one to sight the Questing Beast, tying the Arthurian legend with the great feast. When my son died on Pentecost two years ago, the bright spot on that bleak Pentecost was when my bride gave voice to a thought that had occurred to me: Larry has gone after the Questing Beast.
The birthday of the Church, inaugurated with the great miracles of the coming of the Holy Spirit and the tongues of fire underlining the universal nature of the mission of the Church, at Pentecost has always reminded me that since the coming of Christ we live in an age of miracles, if we only have the wit and the faith to see them. I know this from personal experience: since the death of Larry I have received a small miracle to assure me of his love from the other side.
We live in a time in the West of great cultural pessimism and spiritual sickness that has infected the Church. We forget that over 2000 turbulent years Christ has never failed us and that we Christians should never give way to despair. We do battle with Principalities and Powers, and not merely misguided or evil fellow men, and Christ is ever ready to aid us if we call on Him in humility and love.
Thirty two years ago Solzhenitsyn had this striking passage in his Templeton Address:
More than half a century ago, while I was still a child, I recall hearing a number of older people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia: Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.
Since then I have spent well-nigh fifty years working on the history of our Revolution; in the process I have read hundreds of books, collected hundreds of personal testimonies, and have already contributed eight volumes of my own toward the effort of clearing away the rubble left by that upheaval. But if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous Revolution that swallowed up some sixty million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened. Continue Reading
As you know, I am a Chief Editor along with Tito Edwards at Ignitum Today, the social network of the JP2 and B16 generations. One of our contributors, Bonnie Engstrom, wrote back in September 2011 about the riveting survival of her infant son, an alleged miracle that the family believes was through the intercession of the now Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen. Bonnie informed us last week that this alleged miracle has been chosen as the one to be submitted for review by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, and if it is declared a true miracle then Archbishop Fulton Sheen will be beatified. It has been so exciting to share in this remarkable journey through Bonnie’s writing. When the pastor at our parish in New York announced this good news from the pulpit last Sunday, I smiled at my husband and thought, “I know the family involved!” It’s an amazing and glorious story.
You can read more at Catholic News Service and at Bonnie’s website, Learning to Be a Newlywed, but before you read anything else, you need to read her original story when she told us about the day her son, James Fulton, was born. It is reprinted today at Catholic Sistas with her permission. Thank you Bonnie.
Say hello to James Fulton
And while you are there, look around. This is a super group of faithful Catholic women, and the website was created and designed by Martina Kreitzer.
The divine art of miracle is not an art of suspending the pattern to which events conform but of feeding new events into that pattern.
My sainted mother taught me how to drive, and I was a hideously bad driver at first. She would take me out to drive and come back and take a “nerve pill”, as she called the tranquilizers that she reserved for encounters between me and the horseless carriage. I improved with time, I certainly couldn’t get any worse, but my mother remained nervous about me having some mishap on the road.
She died at 48 on Easter Sunday 1984 after a heroic battle with cancer that lasted a year and a half. For the remainder of my life I will remember the courage, grace and humor with which she fought the disease that took her life. Cancer conquered her but it did not defeat her spirit. For her last two weeks of life she was hospitalized in a coma. My wife and I would stay with her during the day and my Dad and brother would take the night shift. Come what may Mom was not going to die alone. On Easter morning, as my wife and I approached my mother’s room, my brother came running out to get us saying that Mom was waking up from the coma. We ran into the room, and Mom’s eyes were open. She looked at the four of us, said that she loved us all and died. I told our priest about this and he said that we had been granted a great privilege that morning and I agreed with him. I regard this as my first encounter with the miraculous. Continue Reading
At a time when so many are down on the Church, it’s interesting to see through the eyes of a young girl — a blind girl who had mystical vision.
Let’s back up and say this comes from a book by a medical doctor named Dr. John Lerma, who specializes at the Houston Medical Center Hospice in tending to patients as they near death.
Dr. Lerma has had tremendous experiences with these patients — documenting the many who see angels or deceased loved ones and have glimpses of the eternal as they approach the threshold.
But what we’d like to focus on today is a different kind of supernatural experience that occurred when a ten-year-old girl named Sarah who had been blind since birth as a result of atrophic optic nerves was taken to St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. This was an Easter Sunday nearly two decades ago.
“I marveled at the multitude of loving sounds that Bernini’s dramatic design was exuding,” recalled Sarah nineteen years later as she lay dying of cancer. “As I walked through the towering, ornate door of St. Peter’s Basilica, I was drawn by an alluring vibration toward the chapel to my right.
“What I was allowed to hear was beyond awe.
“The vibrations and frequencies, now a part of my entire being, were the remnant echoing sounds of sadness replaced by utter joy and exuberant love from the statue where Jesus was heard to be lying on His mother’s lap after being crucified. I knew I was now standing in front of Michelangelo’s most honored statue, the ‘Pieta.’ Feeling some unfamiliar loving force take hold of my hand, I took hold of my mother’s and followed with total faith. I told my mom not to worry and to trust me, as there was an angel leading us to our next spiritual experience.”
Tonight we celebrate what many describe as the greatest miracle in the history of the universe: the Resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth from the dead. But as we know, God continues to work in miraculous ways throughout history, even in our own time. An episode of ABC’s 20/20 on Good Friday featured a number of alleged modern miracles, and all in all, they did a nice job.
Unfortunately, the man they brought on to give “the other side of the story” — Dr. Michael Shermer, Executive Director of the Skeptics Society — managed to commit a basic logical fallacy, and in so doing, gave a poor showing for those who see themselves as better practitioners of logic than those of us who rely on both faith and reason.
A neat and brief clip explaining the arduous process of a miracle to be approved by the Vatican, but first by medical science!
To learn more about Our Lady of Lourdes click here.
Hattip to Creative Minority Report and to Father Zimmerman. As I detailed here, a miracle attributed to the intercession of Father Emil Kapaun, the heroic Army Catholic Chaplain who died in a Chinese POW camp during the Korean War, has been under investigation by the Vatican. As reported here, the Vatican investigator Andrea Ambrosi has apparently found indications of the miraculous having taken place. Perhaps one day I will be able to refer to Father Kapaun not as the POW Servant of God but as the POW Saint!
In April of this year I wrote a post about the remarkable POW Servant of God, Father Emil Kapaun, a heroic Catholic Chaplain who died in a Chinese POW camp during the Korean War. Now, and a grateful hattip to reader Rick Lugari, the Vatican is investigating a miracle attributed to the intercession of Father Kapaun.
The zeal for living that my 1 year old son exhibits inspires me. He wants to explore everywhere, he is so quick to find something hilarious, he loves craziness, and he cries with passion whenever he sees his sister crying. One word keeps coming to my mind when I just look at the faces of my kids- Miracle. They keep growing and changing, but this thought keeps coming at me- they weren’t even in existence just a few short years ago- but now I can’t imagine the universe without them. They started off life as something so tiny they couldn’t be seen without a microscope- now they are undeniably eternally significant forces of life and love.