If you’ve been following my blog-site for any length of time you pretty much know the topics I post about. A quick scan of my header points out what you will find written here:
silly stuff that dances through my head (sometimes music is involved,)
our magical golden-retriever Helen,
some making (of things,)
Because these are all the areas you will find my heartfelt
hugs n’ blessings!
No, my blog is not necessarily one where you will read it feeling any form of academic “seismic shift” or life-altering desire to move to Uganda, (although I do encourage you to visit Bob Goff’s website for that affirmation.)
But I do pray my bloggity-blog-site inspires ones’ heart to explore the way
God IS present in our lives!
Our every day ordinary lives – albeit the missing supposed fanfare.
He IS there to meet us through our faith, amongst our family and friends, in the silly stuff He has no doubt helped to dance through our heads, our animals, our creations and most especially the favor of His blessings.
And that’s what I hope to focus on in this post.
Blessings are directly associated with, and are believed to come from, God. Thus, to express a blessing is like bestowing a wish on someone that they experience the favor of God, and to acknowledge God as the source of all blessings. And some times, by His grace these blessings form a miracle.
I’ve desired to share this blessing experience for quite some time and God has finally brought it to fruition. The journey it took to manifest is a bit lengthy and because of that you can expect several “spin-off” posts in an effort to share it in “bite size” portions. But for today expect the main course to be served!
Beware, it’s a hearty portion!!
The preparation for the blessing began in September of 2008 when the Blessed Mother invited us to travel to Medjugorje in Bosnia–Herzegovina. Yes, I did say the BVM invited us to go! (Look for future post.) We did not go of our own accord, but at the beckoning of a call to meet her there. And she affirmed her pleasure that we had come in several ways. The changing of my rosary from silver to gold. (Look for future post.) A trail of rose petals which appeared behind me in a vineyard field. (Look for future post.) And the prayer cloths, which were the conduit to the miracle and this post.
And so it was that in November of 2008 Cuppycake, myself and our youngest son found ourselves astonishingly boarding a plane headed to the site of where the BVM has been appearing in supernatural apparitions giving messages to the world since 1981, in a small village named Medjugorje in the country of Bosnia-Hercegovina. She tells us that God has sent her as an act of grace. In Her own words She tells us, “I have come to tell the world that God exists. He is the fullness of life, and to enjoy this fullness and peace, you must return to God.” The Blessed Virgin’s mission is one of peace and love and you can read all about these apparitions by clicking here.
We traveled with a pilgrimage group led by Author Wayne Weible and Spiritual Director Fr. Ed Chalmers – whose knowledge of Medjugorje and the apparitions was extremely beneficial. There are countless stories I could and should share with you that took place during those nine beautiful days – and one day I pray God will lead me to do so – but this miracle account involves the prayer cloths…
The Prayer Cloths
I first learned of the prayer cloths just a week before our departure through a fellow parishioner. June is devoted to spreading information on the apparitions and is the editor for The Newsletter, The Spirit of Medjugorje, which is now available online and I would encourage you to visit this site to discover more about these apparitions and to answer some of the personal questions you may have. During our conversation, prior to our pilgrimage, this new-found-friend encouraged me to bring back “prayer cloths” from Medjugorje.
June explained how the cloths are sold in almost every store in Medjugorje or that you can bring your own. (Men’s handkerchiefs work perfectly.) In Medjugorje the little prayer cloths can be purchased with various pictures of Our Lady and Jesus on them. The cloths are then used to wipe the huge bronze Risen Jesus statue which is dripping liquid from the knee. The Risen Jesus statue is erected behind St. James Church and before this statue came to Medjugorje, it had been sent to Rome and was blessed by Saint Pope John Paul II. This statue, which is made of solid bronze, has been weeping a liquid from the knee since 2001. Sometimes the liquid drips are minimal and slow; however, during our pilgrimage the flow was very steady. The liquid has been tested and has been determined to be human tears! Prayer cloths are used to wipe the dripping liquid and then left with persons for healing and special intentions; which have been reported to have happened. People often times stand in long lines for a chance to wipe the liquid “tears” with these prayer cloths.
I’d like to pause just for a brief moment to acknowledge I am certain some of you have become uncomfortable reading this and I want you to know
Trust me, I GET IT!!
Prior to my own personal experience I too did not understand! I have even kept this blessing hidden in my heart, all these years, for fear of being labeled “a zealot”!
But scripture CONFIRMS this is NOT impossible!! Exactly the opposite! We find even Jesus’ beloved disciples were using prayer cloths
to cure the sick and heal infirmities.
“so that handkerchiefs or aprons were even carried from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out.”Acts 19:12
And so it was, that I blindly trusted & brought along a package of Men’s handkerchiefs -which I had prepared as June instructed – without fully understanding what scripture was about to affirm for me! (I also purchased a package of cloths while in Medjugorje with images on them.) The day I found the Risen Christ Statue there were maybe only a handful of other people there – which enabled me to wipe each cloth individually across the dripping knee.
I was told by one of the other pilgrims how the area where the tears fall – just at the knee – is the farthest area Jesus’ Mother, Mary, was able to reach up and physically touch her son as he hung crucified on the cross.
The tears of a mother…
I identified with this.
Is it any wonder then that something so precious as this could contain healing powers – granted by and through God.
At the end of our pilgrimage I returned home with 11 prayer cloths, all of which had been wiped across the knee of the Risen Christ & blessed by Father Jozo who was the parish priest at St. James in Medjugorje when the apparitions began in 1981.
One of these cloths had a very special intention which played out five years later….
On Saturday, April 13, 2013 we received one of those telephone calls you always pray not to receive. Our god-daughter was gravely ill and the prognosis was not very good. Cuppycake and I had just returned home from the hospital ourselves with our youngest son who had undergone surgery to repair a terrible ankle break. We were finishing getting him comfortably set up in our home to recuperate – a prayer cloth laid draped across his casted ankle – when the call came.
With our daughter on her way to stay with her brother we quickly prepared to leave our home to be with our god-daughter and that is when I felt a strong message to take the prayer cloth with me & our son agreed; our god-daughter needed it more than he.
Because my own memory is not always very kind to me (find post here,) I asked my dear friend and god-daughter’s mother if she would kindly recant the unfolding of that day, in her own words, as she remembers.
This is what she wrote…
Our daughter passed out in the bathroom around 6:30 am on Saturday, April 13, 2013. (I never used to be superstitious, but I no longer like the number 13) Her father heard her enter the bathroom, asked how she was feeling since she was not feeling well Friday night when she went to bed, then we heard a loud thud. We both jumped out of bed and entered the bathroom. There she was, on the floor, wedged between the toilet and the bathtub. I remember her being very pale, her face was covered in sweat pellets, and her eyes were ticking back into her head. I immediately left the bathroom and called 911, as her father stayed by her side calling her name and applying cold compresses to her face. By the time the paramedics arrived, she was talking to her father. She did not remember too much of what just happened. She was our usual 23 year old daughter, hair in a ponytail, wearing sweatpants & a t-shirt, uncomfortable with all the attention she was now receiving. When the paramedics suggested taking her to the hospital to be evaluated, she did not feel it was necessary. I insisted she go and she only agreed when we asked if her father could ride in the ambulance with her.
The next 12 hours at the hospital were a whirlwind. She was questioned about everything from a heart condition to leukemia. In between she was texting her boyfriend, her brother, her friends, and taking selfies to let everyone know she was at the hospital! She was receiving IV fluids, but did not have the urge to go to the bathroom. That’s when the mood in the room started to change. It was around noon and they had her sign papers to be intubated out of concern for her deteriorating medical condition. I knew then that the situation was very serious and I was going to need assistance at the hospital to help. We contacted her brother to tell him to come home from the University he attended, my sister, my husband’s brother, and we knew we needed to call you & Dan. She was now in the hands of a large medical team. As we were receiving updates on the severity of her deteriorating health, I came to realize that the Hail Mary was playing over and over in my head during every moment of silence. The words were filling my head spontaneously and out of my control. I could not stop them unless I was receiving updates on her. It wasn’t until much later in the day that I realized why these words were so prevalent in my head. As a mother, there was nothing more I could do for her. The Blessed Mother was letting me know that she would be taking care of my daughter where I could not.
Dawn, you and Dan were there for the rest of the time at the hospital. In a nutshell, I remember feeling hopeless as each person arrived. I remember her father becoming overwhelmed as life flighting her to a larger hospital was mentioned. I remember that our focus needed to be on her & that we had the support of our family and friends to help us cope and understand what was happening. I remember you & Dan suggesting that we form a circle and pray. I remember Dan redirecting the hospital Chaplain as he was becoming more of a Grim Reaper, than spiritually comforting. Once the decision was made that she was stable enough to be air-flighted, I remember the hospital calling in a prescription for me, her father and her boyfriend to go and pick-up at our pharmacies for the potential protection of our own health. While leaving the hospital to get these pills and prepare to drive ourselves to where she would be life-flighted, I remember worrying that she may die while we were not there, and all the while, I recognized I was still reciting the Hail Mary internally.
Upon returning to the hospital, I remember being told the helicopter was delayed due to bad weather. I remember anxiously awaiting word of the helicopters arrival, only to learn that the flight crew would instead be coming to drive her safely outside the bad-weather area to where they could then fly her to the final destination. As they busily prepared her for departure I remember the hospital staff allowing her father, brother and me to see her one more time before they took her away. I remember the body I was seeing did not look like my daughter. I remember telling her that I loved her and that if it was too hard, to let go. I remember coming out of the curtained area and walking hopelessly into my neighbor’s arms. I remember my neighbor telling me not to give up. I remember turning to our other friend, who was on staff at the hospital, and saying the words no parent wants to say – I asked him to call for a priest and he told me he already had. I remember her boyfriend asking me if he could see her. I told him that it’s bad, but he wanted to see her anyways. I waited with them briefly as the hospital staff stabilized her blood pressure again. I left them alone and remember moments later seeing a very frightened looking young man emerge from the curtain. He was the last of her loved ones to be alone with her. I later learned, when I asked him, what his last words to her were “I’ll see you soon.” I remember you approaching me with a small cloth in your hand. I remember hearing something to the effect that it was a healing cloth from Medjugorje and you would like my permission to give it to a member of the flight crew. What did I have to lose?
I watched from the end of the hospital corridor those tearful final exchanges between our life-long friends – as they each entered and then departed our god-daughter’s hospital room in preparation for the life-flight she would need to take. In the passing of each hour we knew how dire the situation had become for her survival. And yet my heart remained calm. I kept praying, if it were God’s will, for the Holy Spirit to show me a way for the prayer cloth to reach her. As we awaited another update, the words and opportunity to speak to her mother in a very tender exchange about the prayer cloth were afforded, who then granted permission for me to have it placed with her. Not shortly after… I found myself standing next to the lead physician who had come down to speak to everyone regarding the arrival of the flight crew. After he’d finished speaking he stood next to me and in a very surreal occurrence it felt as if it were only he and I standing there. I showed him the cloth and spoke of the Blessed Mother and Medjugorje. I don’t remember the exact words but I asked if the cloth could please be placed somewhere on or near our god-daughter during the transport – for her care, protection, and God’s healing. (This next part I remember clearly…) The physician never took his eyes off of me as I spoke. He never scoffed. He never became uncomfortable. Instead he calmly and boldly stated, “I know who She is. I know of Medjugorje. And if I have to pin it on her myself I will be sure it is with her. Thank you for bringing this, she needs a miracle right now.” And he marched away down the corridor into our god-daughter’s room.
O my God, this sick person here before You has come to ask You what he/she desires and what he/she believes to be the most important thing for him/her self. Grant, O God, that these words enter into his/her heart: “It is important to be healthy in the soul!” Lord , may Your Holy Will be done unto him/her in everything. If You wish that he/she be healed, may he/she be given health. But if Your Will is different, may he/she continue to bear this cross. I pray to You also for us who intercede for him/her. Purify our hearts so as to make us worthy of Your Holy Mercy to be given through us. Protect him/her and relieve his/her sufferings. May Your Holy Will be done unto him/her. Through him/her may Your Holy Name be revealed. Help him/her to bear his/her cross with courage.
(Pray the Glory Be prayer three times)OUR LADY’S PRAYER FOR THE SICK
Our Lady dictated the following prayer to Jelena, one of the locutionists from Medjugorje:
Our god-daughter made it safely to the hospital in the big city.
Her mother recants how driving there with her husband and son “she sat in the backseat of the car alone planning my daughter’s funeral in my head most of the way.” The doctors who had already been treating her locally suspected that she had most likely contracted Meningitis. “I had only ever heard of meningitis when a young girl that went to the same high-school had contracted it in college and succumbed to the disease rather quickly. I did not think it was a disease you could survive. After seeing our daughter, I did not think she would survive.” Upon arriving to the hospital her mother continued, “We arrived shortly after the helicopter, somewhere near 11:00 pm. We received directions on where to go in the hospital. They were expecting us. I remember my body shaking as we walked through the hospital. I was still preparing for the “I’m sorry” speech. We were placed into a small private family room where we waited. As more and more time passed, I was becoming confused. Where are they? Why aren’t they telling us anything? Could it be because she is still alive? In walked a man with a ponytail, it was her doctor. He sat in a chair across from me, and I remember hearing these words: “Your daughter has contracted Meningococcal Meningitis. One of three things will most likely occur #1 being death, 2 being amputation and 3 neurological disorders.” The doctor looked each of us in the eye and asked if we understood. We silently nodded yes. Then the doctor said “The hospital your daughter just came from saved her life; however, there is no medical reason why your daughter is still alive. Do you understand what I am saying?” I knew.
24 hours later her mother crept back into her daughter’s hospital room alone, where there she discovered that what –‘she knew’ – was true.
Her father and brother were asleep in the lounge that would become home for them for the next several months. “I couldn’t sleep, so I went to sit with her. She was unresponsive and hooked up to so many machines. As I silently walked around her room at 2am, something caught my attention on the window sill. It was a small handkerchief type cloth. Then I remembered! It was the same cloth you asked if you could send with her when she was life-flighted. I never saw you give it to the flight crew, but it somehow made it. With all the transferring, stabilizing, and removing of infectious materials – there it was – on the window sill. It made it! I was in shock and I did not feel alone anymore. Apparently that cloth which was so important for you to send with her, was also significant to whomever you gave it to. There it was, safely on the window sill in her room. I couldn’t believe it made it! I couldn’t believe she made it! I now needed to go and get some rest to prepare for what would be a long road to recovery. Armed with my prayer cloth from Medjugorje – from her godmother.”
See what I mean!
God IS present in our lives!
He desires to give us His blessings!
And what SPECIAL blessings He gave us to dance over this past April and May!
First, with a NACHO AVERAGE BRIDAL SHOWER for a very special god-daughter and her soon to be Mister.
Yes, the same young man who stood by her side through all the ups & downs of her illness and recovery!
With wedding nuptials that followed close behind!
As I mentioned earlier – sometimes, by His grace, these blessings we receive manifest a miracle! However, only God can be the cause of a miracle – and as He has shown throughout scripture He has manifested them in various ways!
hugs n’ blessings for all the many ways He heals us, even in nacho average ways!
Heal me, LORD, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise.Jeremiah 17:14
*Final note: Our god-daughter does not have much memory regarding her illness – the last thing she remembers is signing paperwork to have “further testing done.” She learned of the prayer cloth while recouperating in the hospital. And while she did not experience an awareness of a healing power she does attest to the sense of comfort it brought to her.