The following is a story which is hard to believe. If someone thought I was crazy, I wouldn’t blame them. But I can attest before God that the following happened in 2008. I touched on the story a little bit in a prior post (see St. Gemma post) regarding my dad’s unexpected passing in 2008. What I didn’t mention was what happened shortly thereafter.
I was living in Bloomington, IN on the campus of Indiana University at the time. Even though I had experienced a sudden conversion and had been confirmed, I was still struggling to give up my former ways. However, I kept a tack board in my room with pictures of my Dad and a Mass intention card that my parish priest gave to me after my dad’s passing. Inexplicably, one day this card went missing. At the time my room, much like my life, was a mess and so I didn’t think anything of it.
A month went by and I still hadn’t found the missing Mass intention card; I began to think the situation was rather odd. I mean who would steal a Mass intention card for someone’s dead parent? One day I decided to clean my room which itself was a novelty. After cleaning from top to bottom I still hadn’t located the card. I felt like a jerk for losing something that was really important to me but like most things in my life at that time, I figured I could drink the problem away.
As I prepared to go out for another night of boozing with my friends, I sat at my newly cleaned desk and fiddled with my computer. Then, all of the sudden there was what I can only describe as a presence of something huge to my right. It was of non-descript shape and color; all I know was that there was someone to my right, and someone big. Within that same split-second, I heard a tap to my right and as I glanced over I saw a card laying face down on my desk. I flipped it over to find that it was the Mass intention card which went missing!
I was immediately shaken. I couldn’t make sense of what had just happened. It was as if my brain was trying to process something that didn’t make any sense. I knew there was no card as I had just cleaned everything. I tried to recreate how it might have fallen from somewhere but it was simply impossible. In vain, I asked my roommates if they threw the card there when I wasn’t looking but neither of them were even on the same floor of the house at the time.
In my heart of hearts I knew this was a signal grace and strongly believed it was a message to pray for my Dad. I later discussed the event with my spiritual director in the seminary and he, in a very matter of fact way, affirmed that God in his mercy will allow souls to manifest a need for prayers. Ever since that day the card dropped out of thin air, I never despaired of my Dad’s passing, rather I have simply remembered to pray for him.
Let us not forget to pray for the souls of those who have gone before us! Who knows how much we may need the prayers when we pass from this life to the next.