Stories

March 6, 2014

There’s Really Nothing That Can Be Done

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“A little boy was brought to this outdoor Mass who was suffering from very severe burns and sores on his body. I remember thinking, ‘My goodness, there’s really nothing that can be done. It’s so bad. We have no doctors or medicine here.’

I admired the priest. We prayed with the little boy, then the priest said to the old woman who had carried him to the Mass, ‘Just leave him under the table here and let’s continue with the celebration of the Eucharist.’

As we approached the Consecration, I had my eyes closed. When I opened them, I discovered that people were prostrate on the ground. They lifted up their eyes to adore the Lord (in the Eucharist). The look on their faces made me think, ‘They really believe this is Jesus.’ Then when I looked at the Sacred Host, in my imagination, I got the most beautiful image of Jesus with his two hands out. He was smiling with great love and compassion. He was embracing these poor people and saying, ‘Come to me, all who are weary, and I will give you life and faith.’ After the Mass, I went around to see how the little boy was. I looked at the child and he was fine. There wasn’t anything wrong with his little body.

During the Mass as in all Masses, the priest had put his hands over the bread and wine, and he called upon the action of the Spirit to make this action holy ‘that it may become the Body and Blood’ of Jesus. When the priest said this prayer, the Holy Spirit came, but He of course was not limited to do only what the priest asked. The Spirit also put His power over the little boy and the boy was changed. He was healed and made whole.”

(Taken from My Daily Eucharist II by Joan Carter McHugh, and an excerpt contained there from Miracles Do Happen by Sr. Briege McKenna)

March 5, 2014

A Greater Love for Charlie

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The following is a seemingly simple story. It does not contain any astonishing supernatural event, and can be discounted as something due entirely to the personal capabilities of the storyteller herself. Yet she thought otherwise. She knew the level of hostility in her heart and the depth of the change she experienced. She says:

“When I went forward to receive Jesus in the Eucharist, the Lord gave me a greater love for Charlie … Jesus had worked a great healing in me and I wanted to tell someone. How I wished I could go home and tell Charlie!

As soon as we got home I phoned Charlie at his motel. When he answered I said: ‘Honey I want you to know that I love you just the way you are and that it doesn’t matter to me where you go or how long you stay or who you go with. I’ll be waiting for you.’ Then I hung up.

Charlie says that he just stood there in the motel room not knowing what to do. When he heard my voice on the phone, he had expected me to tell him he was a sorry excuse for a man and that three lawyers would be waiting for him when he returned. He would have known how to handle that. But he didn’t know how to handle love or how to respond to it.

That was November 14, 1976. The following February 8, Charlie Osburn, the ‘wild man of Warrington,’ the man who could never change, the man who I ‘had to teach a lesson to,’ went down on his knees with Father Jim Smith … and asked for the infilling of God’s Holy Spirit.” (Jeanne Osburn)

(Taken from My Daily Eucharist II by Joan Carter McHugh, and an excerpt contained there from The Charlie Osburn Story by Charlie Osburn, with Fred Lily.)

December 25, 2013

Christmas Every Day

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The Holy Eucharist is the continuation of Christ’s incarnation on earth. The mystery of the Eucharist gives us the joy of having Christmas everyday. When we come to the Blessed Sacrament we come to Bethlehem, and name which means “house of bread.” Jesus chose to be born in Bethlehem because He would dwell with us forever as the “Living Bread” come down from heaven. When the shepherds and the Magi came to adore Him, they brought Him so much joy with their humble visit to Bethlehem that their visit has been praised and retold down through the centuries. God has never stopped honoring them for honoring His Son in Bethlehem.

So, too, your humble visit to Jesus today in the Blessed Sacrament brings Him so much joy that it will be retold for all eternity and bring the world closer to His promise of peace on earth.

We are as privileged in being called to adore Him today as were Mary, Joseph, the shepherds and the Magi then, because here Jesus continues His incarnation on earth…The Word again becomes flesh and dwells among us, veiled under the species of the Sacred Host, where the same Jesus born two thousand years ago as a little babe in Bethlehem is truly, really, bodily and personally present to us in this most Blessed Sacrament.

(Taken from My Daily Eucharist by Joan Carter McHugh, and an excerpt contained there from Rosary Meditations from Mother Teresa of Calcutta by Fr. Martin Lucia, MSS.)

December 24, 2013

An Irish Story

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On August 21, 1879, Mary McLoughlin and Mary Beirne were walking past the Village chapel in Knock, Ireland. They both saw something unusual. Word soon spread after that and others came. Fifteen people gave testimony to the commission of inquiry that formed later.

They all attested to seeing, with some minor variations, a lamb on an altar. Behind the lamb was a cross. To the right side of the lamb, stood a figure holding a book that was taken to be John the Evangelist holding a book of the Gospels. To his right, was the Virgin Mary and Joseph. The vision did not come and go, nor was it momentary. It lasted for several hours. The scene was bathed in a brilliant light and, though it was raining heavily that night, the ground under the apparition was quite dry.

The scene clearly represents the Catholic Mass. The first part of the Mass involves readings from Scripture and the Gospels. This leads to the second part, and the re-presentation to the Father of the sacrifice of the Lamb of God on the Cross. At every Mass, Mary and Joseph are in attendance.

The Holy Family that was present at the first Christmas is thus present at every Mass, when Christ comes again and again to His people in the Blessed Sacrament.

(Source: “The Official Testimonies of the Fifteen Witnesses to the Knock Apparition on August 21, 1879,” http://www.knock-shrine.ie/uploads/documents/The%2015%20Depositions%20arranged%20alphabetically.pdf.)

December 23, 2013

When a Saint Asked Others to Pray for a Miracle

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Giovanni Savino and his wife were devoted followers of Padre Pio. One day after Mass, Padre Pio uncustomarily embraced him and said, “Courage, Giovanni, I am praying to the Lord that you might not be killed.” For the next two days, Padre Pio repeated this ominous warning.

Savino had been among those working on an addition to San Giovanni Rotundo, Pio’s monastery. On the third day, February 15, 1949, Savino and another man placed some dynamite under a boulder. When the fuse failed to ignite the charge, Savino went forward to investigate. The dynamite went off in front of him.

His face was badly mangled, his right eye was a “bloody pulp” and his left eye had many “foreign bodies” in it. Doctors gave up any hope of saving the right eye but thought perhaps they could save the left one.

Padre Pio asked everyone to pray for Savino. He exposed the Blessed Sacrament and prayed before His Presence himself for three days. On February 25, Savino smelled a sweet fragrance, something that others frequently reported in connection with an intervention by Padre Pio. Savino also felt three slaps on his forehead. The understanding he had at the time was that Pio was next to his bed.

Later that same morning, the ophthalmologist came to examine him. Savino told him he could see. The ophthalmologist asked him to turn his head so he could see his left eye. Savino responded that it was the right eye with which he could see. The doctor said he must be mistaken, but Savino insisted to the contrary. Upon examination, the left eye was found to still have its horribly distorted condition. Still, Savino could see with it. For the following 25 years of his life, Savino could still see with it. The left eye never regained the power of sight.

The ophthalmologist had been an atheist at the time. He converted to the Catholic Faith as a result of this incident.

Padre Pio was said to be a procuring cause of more than a thousand physical healings. This one time, when he asked others to pray for a miracle, he asked them to pray before the Eucharist. He asked them to pray to Real Presence. He asked them to pray directly to Christ Himself.

(Source: “The Miracles of St. Padre Pio,” by Brother Lawrence Mary, M.I.C.M., Tert., http://www.basilica.org/pages/ebooks/Brother%20Lawrence%20Mary-The%20Miracles%20of%20Saint%20Padre%20Pio.pdf.)

December 22, 2013

As the Bell Rang

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Julius Stephi was a twenty-month-old baby. He had meningitis and pneumonia. The agony he experienced was causing him to literally pull his hair out. Three physicians had been unsuccessful in trying to reverse the tide of his illness.

His grandmother, Magdalena Vogel visited him and saw the child’s torment. She then continued on her way to Mass at St. Augustine’s Church in Pittsburgh. As the time of consecration approached, when the priest asks for Jesus to descend and be with his people in the Blessed Sacrament, Mrs. Vogel saw an image in her mind of Fr. Seelos, her confessor from years before. She prayed to him: “Father Seelos, while you were on earth you had the power to change bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ. Now that you are in heaven, you are not less powerful. Please ask God to heal my grandchild.”

While she was saying this prayer, she heard the large the bell ring. This church had a tower and, at the precise moment of the Consecration during the Sunday High Mass, they rang that bell.

After Mass, Mrs. Vogel returned to her grandson. She was met at the door by her daughter. Julius had stopped writhing from pain. He had stopped as the bell rang. An hour later, he woke up. For two days, he had refused all food. Now he was hungry. Julius was again healthy.

(Based on an account stated in My Daily Eucharist II by Joan Carter McHugh, and an excerpt contained there from Nothing Short of a Miracle by Patricia Treece.)

December 21, 2013

Just Leave Him Under the Table and Let’s Continue with the Mass

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A little boy was brought to this outdoor Mass who was suffering from very severe burns and sores on his body. I remember thinking, “My goodness, there’s really nothing that can be done. It’s so bad. We have no doctors or medicine here.”

I admired the priest. We prayed with the little boy, then the priest said to the old woman who had carried him to the Mass, “Just leave him under the table here and let’s continue with the celebration of the Eucharist.”

As we approached the Consecration, I had my eyes closed. When I opened them, I discovered that people were prostrate on the ground. They lifted up their eyes to adore the Lord. The look on their faces made me think, ”They really believe that this is Jesus.” Then when I looked at the Sacred Host, in my own imagination, I got the most beautiful image of Jesus with his two hands out. He was smiling with great love and compassion. He was embracing these poor people and saying, “Come to me, all who are weary, and I will give you life and faith.” After the Mass, I went around to see how the little boy was. I looked at the child and he was fine. There wasn’t a thing wrong with his little body.

(Taken from My Daily Eucharist II by Joan Carter McHugh, and an excerpt contained there from Miracles Do Happen by Sr. Briege McKenna, OSC.)

December 20, 2013

Friar Joseph

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Once, Friar Joseph was travelling with another priest when they entered a village church. The priest commented that there was no burning lamp at the altar and questioned whether a consecrated Host was perhaps not kept there. Friar Joseph knew inwardly that He was present and, without answering directly, astonished his companion, by rising from the ground, flying to the tabernacle on the altar and giving adoration to the Presence within.

This story would be hard to believe on its own. However, there are 70 others involving this Friar Joseph for which witnesses gave accounts and the circumstances recorded, not to mention many others that were not so recorded. These acts of levitation were witnessed by men and women of every station in life, sheperds, townspeople, noblemen, a Spanish ambassador and Pope Urban VIII. They many times included whole groups of people. Sometimes, they even involved Friar Joseph taking the hand of another person and both of them being lifted in the air.

Friar Joseph did not experience such events in isolation. As one who started having ecstasies while still a young child, he never ceased to pray fervently, fast and practice various self-sacrifices, consider himself a sinner or have the most profound respect for the Eucharist.

Also, a great number of miracles are known in connection with Friar Joseph: physical cures, instances of being able to see into the soul and know the sins of others persons, bilocations, predictions of future events and more. For these reasons and others, he was canonized by the Catholic Church in 1763, one hundred years after his death. He is now known as St. Joseph of Copertino.

If but one of the miraculous stories about him is true, then the question must be asked whether his faith in God was justified or whether he just happened to possess some mysterious power as a freak occurrence of nature.

He certainly did not think so. On his deathbed, as the bell sounded to announce that the Blessed Sacrament was being brought to him as Viaticum, he rose and once more, from the door of his room to the stair above his chapel, flew to the wonder of those present. He did not want his Lord to have to come to him. He would go to Him.

Source: Saint Joseph of Copertino, by Fr. Angelo Pastrovicchi, O.M.C. (Rockford, Illinois, Tan Books, 1980).

December 19, 2013

Ella’s Story

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I had four abortions before I was married; had a nervous breakdown at eighteen; and became addicted to drugs and alcohol in my twenties. I attempted suicide even times, unable to understand why I had to live a life without meaning. My husband, chosen by my parents, was an atheist.

Once a Catholic priest taught me two lines of prayer that turned my life around: “Jesus, may all that is You, flow into me. May Your Body and Blood be my food and drink.”

Meanwhile, I was diagnosed with leukemia. This was in addition to diabetes that I had for twenty years. I knew the key to my healing was finding a place where I could receive the real Body and Blood of Jesus. Something inside kept telling me that if I could receive the Body and Blood of Jesus I would be healed.

I found it in a Catholic church during my first healing Mass, which I attended with a friend. At the Consecration I saw a vision of a lamb slain on the altar. It was the Lamb of God. I knew then that this was where I would find the Body and Blood of Jesus, and that it would bring me healing. I was received into the Catholic Church in May 1985.

When I met Father DeGrandis in 1985 he told me I needed to forgive my father for some ways he hurt me as a child. I began a regular program of saying the “Forgiveness Prayer.” On his retreat I was healed of diabetes and the leukemia went into remission.

I thank God for my second chance. I especially thank the Lord for allowing me to receive Him in the Eucharist. “Take this,” He said. “This is My Body (Mk 14:22).

(Taken from My Daily Eucharist II by Joan Carter McHugh, and an excerpt contained there from Healing Through the Mass, by Fr. Robert DeGrandis, SJ.)

December 18, 2013

Sister Marie-Bernard

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It was in the Blessed Eucharist above all that Sister Marie-Bernard, true to her faith, sought this living Jesus. Members of the Community bore eloquent testimony to the recollected manner in which she prepared for Holy Communion, and her complete absorption in the Divine Presence during her thanksgiving. To the question, “What do you do that you take so long over your thanksgiving?” she replied: “I think that Our Lady is giving me the Child Jesus. I welcome Him and I talk to Him, and He talks to me.” Her spiritual notes give a more enlightening glimpse: “I was nothing and of this nothing, Jesus made something great.” “It is because through Holy Communion I partake of the Godhead in some way. Jesus gives me His Heart, I am thus linked closely with Him, spouse of Jesus, friend of Jesus, that is to say, another Jesus.”

Some of her companions stated that during her thanksgiving, the face of Sister Marie-Bernard would “light up—as during the apparitions at Masabielle.” The parish priest, not over-imaginative, had already mentioned something similar with regard to his little parishioner. Without doubt, Holy Communion, or rather, Holy Mass, was the culminating point of Sister Marie-Bernard’s spiritual life; to be deprived of it during her illnesses cost her more than all her sufferings. “If one must go from Tabor to Calvary, one returns from Calvary to Tabor with Jesus, that is our foretaste of heaven.” If instead of Tabor we say the Blessed Eucharist, then this saying of Sister Marie-Bernard will best express the source of her spiritual happiness, her hope and her love.

Sister Marie-Bernard, known as Bernadette Soubirous before she had taken her vows, was the girl whom no one initially believed when she said she had seen the Blessed Mother at a grotto in France. Today, that grotto at Lourdes is a pilgrimage destination for millions, Sister Marie-Bernard is now St. Bernadette, and countless physical and spiritual healings have taken place because of what Sister Marie-Bernard saw when no one else did. If she saw Jesus in the Eucharist, should we not stop and enjoy a minute or two considering this?

(First two paragraphs above taken from My Daily Eucharist II by Joan Carter McHugh, and an excerpt contained there from Bernadette and Her Rosary by Fr. Andre Ravier, SJ.)

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