Tuesday, June 28, 2016

366 Project - Day 180 - "A Gift From A Stranger"


June 28, 2016 - "A Gift From A Stranger"

This morning I met with the Pastor of my parish to talk about all that I've been experiencing this last week or so... seeking his spiritual guidance on the issues at hand. It was a wonderful conversation... and I left there feeling so much better. (Thank you Fr. Shawn!)

When I left the church my daughter and I went to a local bagel hot spot for lunch. We were sitting there eating our lunches and sipping on coffee... talking about nothing in particular - just college and stuff like that... absolutely nothing that had anything to do with religion or any sort of spiritual matter.

There was an older woman sitting at the table that was closest to ours. She was sitting alone, eating her lunch while reading a book. All of a sudden she was calling over to me: "Excuse me mister...", so I turned toward her and she asked in a very heavy Hispanic accent "Catholic?". I said "Yes, I am." She got up from her chair and came over and stood next to me... reaching out to hand me something.

What she handed me is the subject of today's photo: A little book of prayers with a Holy Card tucked between the pages. She opened it to show point out the Holy Card... and said "You need this"... then started talking, but I couldn't understand what she was saying other than at one point when she said "Keep. No put in garbage". I thanked her and we both smiled and she went back to her table and picked up her book and continued with her lunch.

I suddenly felt very good inside.

I reached inside my bag to pull out the Bible that I always have with me, so I could tuck these gifts between its pages for safe-keeping... and then I felt that I needed to do something. I went into another pocket of my bag where I keep things for if/when the time comes that I come across someone who really needs them. I quickly found what I was looking for - a Green Scapular and the little booklet that explains what it is, does and how to use it in faith.

I stood up and went over to her table and handed her the Scapular. She looked up at me with a big smile and it seemed as if her eyes were tearing up just a little. She stood up and we gave each other a big hug and said "God Bless You!" in each other's ear... then she went over and hugged my daughter as well. My daughter and I made our way out as the woman returned to her seat, holding the Scapular and smiling.

When I got back home I took out the little book she had given me, and opened it up. The Holy Card had a Prayer for Peace on the back... and the book opened to the page that had both the "Suscipe" and "Anima Christi" prayers on it... which are two very important prayers to me, the "Anima Christi" being the prayer I say every time I receive Holy Communion.

She was right... I most certainly needed this!

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