My Miracles 2 — ‘It Wasn’t Long Before the Church Began to Resemble a Battlefield, with Bodies Literally Strewn Everywhere’
(Not your normal bill of fare, this)
Back in August, I wrote about the many miracles that surrounded my Mother’s death in 1996. But, I never mentioned the related miracles that occurred in New Zealand … until now.
In 1994 or 1995, Mom was on oxygen 24/7 and had wasted away to 75 pounds. An undiagnosed spore had destroyed her lungs and was killing her. We were all praying for a miracle.
So when I was asked to organize a “healing Mass” in Auckland, New Zealand, by a miracle-worker named Father Peter Mary Rookey, I said ‘yes’! But only after I’d done a fair bit of homework to ensure his bonafides, as old reporters are wont to do.
My research included reading Man of Miracles, the book respected British journalist Heather Parsons wrote about “the famous healing priest from Chicago”, who himself had miraculously regained his sight as a young child.
Heather had “embedded” herself in Fr Rookey’s healing ministry, following him across Ireland, and chronicling what she called “miracles of biblical proportion”.
“From the altar, the church is a sea of humanity. The sick – in wheelchairs, on stretchers, carried or supported by others – push forward in their thousands to reach the silver-haired priest. Arms held out, Father Peter Mary Rookey OSM (Order of Servants of Mary) stops and blesses each one, laying his hands on their heads, calling on the power of Jesus to heal all their ills. And as he prays, miracles happen. The blind see, the deaf hear, the dumb say the name of Jesus and those in wheelchairs stand and walk.”
Obviously, a secular journalist writing about miracles impressed me. But what impressed me most was the old Servite priest’s humility, a quality always tied to holiness, and something that I hadn’t seen much of in my newspaper career.
As a journalist in Texas, Singapore and Washington, D.C. (1980-1988), I’d interviewed my share of big shots – senators, rock stars, sports legends, and even a billionaire. To a man, they had Frank Sinatra-sized egos and let you know they had done it “their way”.
Many 12-step programs tell you to “Let Go and Let God”.
But, as my big sister often reminds me, even when we do so, we frequently freak out and claw stuff right back.
Case in point…
I recently took a deep breath, said some prayers, and moved the HOGS Blog to a cheaper New Zealand server and domain registrar.
I was advised this process would be simple and seamless.
What could possibly go wrong?
So, to prepare, I had this kind of conversation with the Lord.
Me: “Lord, after five years and almost 400 posts, HogsAteMySister has not made me rich or famous, as I thought we had planned, and the future is not looking so crash hot. I no longer have the energy to repurpose the content into Amazon ebooks, like my butthead writer friend in Oregon whose initials may or may not be Kris Wehrmeister. Not that I begrudge her success, because she deserves it. She is amazing. The big, fat, talented cow. Sorry, Lord. Anyway, I decided to once again put this blog in Your hands. So, if during the change of hosting companies, you allow the blog to plummet into the internet abyss, I will take that as a sign that You think the blog sucks canal water, okay?
Me: On the other hand, Lord, if the transfer goes well, and there were to be a few positive signs like, say, bales of money falling from the sky, or maybe a few parades in front of my house, that could be seen as a sign of Your approval, to carry on, You know?
Me: “Okay, then.”
Yes, we are aware that one of our high school friends is recovering from a very, very serious back problem, and that the global economy is being dragged down the tubes by China.
But the blog is a sick man, and we need to whine.
We are now on on Day 18 of Killer Horror Chest Gunk That Is Not Flu, But Which Is Way Worse Than Ebola With Angry Chest Badgers.
We are now on our second doctor and third antibiotic.
And we are pretty much coughing our head off today because Doctor Number Two said that, most of the time, cough medicine is a very bad idea.
Which means this blog has spent $45 on three bottles of cough medicine that, turns out, has actually thrilled the 10 billion killer horror virus germs in our chest and bronchial tubes, which feel like angry chest badgers on crack.
(A very serious one about abortion)
Oh little baby, you’ll never cry, nor will you hear a sweet lullabye.
Oh unborn child, if you only knew just what your momma was plannin’ to do.
You’re still a-clingin’ to the tree of life, but soon you’ll be cut off before you get ripe.
When I was a senior at Norman High School, in 1974, I remember happily buying the new Seals & Crofts album, then getting really angry at the lyrics to the cover song.
It was the year after the Supreme Court ruled on Roe v. Wade, five years after Woodstock’s “sex, drugs and rock’n’roll”, and six years after Pope Paul VI released his encyclical Humanae Vitae (Of Human Life).
I was a heathen and a virgin.
The LAST thing I wanted was some “anti-abortion” musicians moralizing their way into my bedroom.
Turns out, nobody else did either.
We were Baby Boomers, and it was all about us, not some unborn child.
Sadly, that sweet song could do precious little to hold back the abortion tsunami.
So now, 42 years after Roe v Wade, these are the *facts:
- more than 77 million babies have been aborted in America
- so far this year, 646,283 babies have been aborted in the land of free and the home of the brave
- 193,941 of these babies were aborted by Planned Parenthood, America’s biggest abortionist
- Recently, Planned Parenthood managers were caught sipping wine and talking about “crushing above and below” so organs from aborted babies could be harvested and sold
- Planned Parenthood apologized for a manager’s “tone”
- The Senate fell three votes short of defunding Planned Parenthood
Lord Have Mercy
All of this has made me ask, Dear Lord, how did we get to this point?
I never knew radio great Paul Harvey, but sometimes I can hear his voice.
I always wanted to do great things, which is probably why I started out as a reporter.
I had a good nose for news and was pretty good at finding the truth.
But, as it turns out, I was also blind as a bat at times, blinded by my ego, and nowhere near greatness.
In 1992-1993, I was a new consultant in Dallas with “the largest privately owned P.R. firm in the world.”
My biggest client, a real estate giant, had asked us to find a hotshot speaker for their Annual Meeting.
I wanted General Norman Schwarzkopf, one of the great military giants of the 20th century, and the Ultimate Alpha Male.
I just knew my real estate Big Dog clients would LOVE hanging out with Stormin’ Norman.
But my choice was not astute.
My boss, however, was astute, and recommended former long-time Reagan aide Michael Deaver.
This did not sit well with me.
The Missus and I need a big house so we both can have our own space.
And in the land of semi-retirement, you watch your money pretty closely.
So, of course, we just bought a little camper van.
In our defense, it’s not really a camper van.
Certainly not like the big one that two families squished into 20 years ago to tour all of New Zealand.
That one had eight berths and a stove and fridge and pooper and shower.
That kind if serious camper van now rents for about $400 per day.
So, when you throw in insurance, diesel and campground fees, etc, it costs about $9,000 to get our of your driveway.
Which poses a dilemma.
How do you quityerbitchin’ about living in the most beautiful country in the world yet never actually seeing any of it?
The answer came last week from above. Or at least the internets.
I was looking for a cheap car, using my super-braniac search engine words “moving to Australia.”
There, among all the actual cars, popped up the cutest little camper van you ever saw.
I mean, it’s called a Mazda Bongo Friendee.
How could that not be a thing of happy destiny?