Unexpected Blessing

I’m still reeling from tonight’s experience. Yes, that is a picture of a Mother Teresa prayer card, and yes, the scrap of fabric in the corner is an authenticated relic from her clothing.  A lovely Chicago couple gave it to us after mass with the request that we pray for their daughter, Sister Ruth, of the Missionaries of Charity living in the Bronx, who is dying of cancer.  And yes, I think we can do that.

Here’s how it happened. (Please forgive the detail, but I never want to forget this.) We attended the 5:15 p.m. mass at Holy Name Cathedral in downtown Chicago, a magnificent church, and heard a moving sermon about Corpus Christi that made us think about our beloved deceased parents, Paula and Angelo. We lingered to admire the stately crucifix, intricate wooden ceiling and imposing organ, and even chatted with the celebrant, a fellow Southsider (I was born in Evergreen Park).  While taking pictures of the outside, I exchanged smiles with an elderly couple holding hands whom we noticed had also lingered after mass. We conversed about the balmy weather and California and they said they were residents who’d been married for 64 years. Howell and Martha offered to take our picture, then asked us a favor: to pray for their dying daughter, Sister Ruth, a member of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity community in the Bronx. Saying they were “seeking charities” or some such term of art that seemed to mean more than just prayer but nothing financial, they told us they wanted us to have a certified relic of Mother Teresa, a piece of fabric contained on the prayer card.

The rest is a bit of a blur. We exchanged hugs and more good wishes, then they disappeared. DH and I both had to take a minute just to breathe and wipe our eyes. It had been enough of a treat to meet such a lovely, long-married and faithful couple on a beautiful summer day, but to have them share their intentions with us, then give us a relic was an unexpected blessing indeed.

This was a tough act to follow, but if the Cubs win tomorrow, I’ll consider this truly a miracle-filled trip. 😉


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