It has been awhile since I wrote much on this blog. It is not that there has been nothing to tell, but that I can hardly put into words how blessed I am feeling and how generous is our God. No, I have not yet sold my house, and my entrance date is a mere 50 days away. But I have found myself more and more unconcerned with the actual date of entry, as I am at peace, and intent on doing the will of God, whatever that is, whenever it is, and wherever it may lead. Oh, please don’t get me wrong, I am confident I will be entering the Caterina Benincasa Dominican Monastery, but only God knows today, when that will be. My hope is in Him and not in my realtor.
There have been some beautiful gifts given to me by our Beloved in these days leading up to my giving myself entirely to Him as a religious, the greatest of which is the sson-to-be miraculous resolution of my Mom’s tremors.
If you have read my blog before, you know that I began praying through the intercession of Bl. Pope John Paul the Great, that my mom would be healed, since the beginning of Lent, last year. Well, on February 13th, the 47th wedding anniversary of my Mom and Dad, we received an incredible gift.
My mom had a long awaited appointment with a highly sought after tremor specialist at Geisinger Hospital, in Danville, Pennsylvania. The first miracle was that he actually spent TWO HOURS going over every inch of her, testing her nerves and muscles, and when he was finished, he said to my mother, “You don’t have Parkinson’s Disease. You don’t have essential tremors.”
WHAT?!? After all these years of suffering mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically, she does not have what the other doctors said she had??
I do not know what the technical diagnoses is, but basically he proved to her that a muscle in her arm is reacting with a cranial nerve to send bad messages to her brain, by having her hold her head down, chin to chest, and to the left. The tremors stopped. He said that he can inject botox into her arm muscle in a certain place and it will cure the tremors! THANK YOU, JESUS! Thank you Blessed Mother and thank you Bl. John Paul the Great for your intercession. This is a gift not only to her, but to our whole family, her friends, and especially to me, who felt bad leaving her to enter the monastery, knowing she would be suffering at home, without her daughter. I know she would have my brothers and dad, but as her only daughter, I knew she will be missing me tremendously when I no longer live 5 minutes away from her. Thanks be to God for this glorious gift!
God has also responded to another interior desire of mine. It seems I have had some bad dental work, and the result has been to have re-treatments of a bunch of root canals with an endodontist and the necessity for crowns. I was devastated to learn this, as I had no choice but to charge the costs of dental work to a credit card, to the tune of more than $6,000, another obstacle requiring removal before entering the monastery. Well, last week, during my last appointment with the endodontist, he accidentally pulled off one of my crowns. Since he limits his practice solely to root canals, he would not put the crown back on. I was in a bit of a state of shock by this, as I walked out with my tooth in a baggie, wondering how I just spent so much money and would now have to spend a few hundred more to get the crown back on with my regular dentist. But just then, the thought occurred to me that God has always brought good out of bad situations when I let Him, so I tried not to fret. I went home and made an appointment for the next morning with my regular dentist.
Dr. Debra Lopatofsky is a highly skilled dentist and a dear, kind person. I was fully prepared to pay to put the ruined crown back on to my tooth, but she would have none of it. She wanted to do all kinds of work to my mouth to stabilize it before I enter the monastery, but I told her I simply can not do it. As much as I want to save my teeth and have things in order before I go, I have no money and need to sell my house and use what is left to pay my school loans. She said, “Let me do this for you.” And she did. For free. On a Saturday, her day off. And what’s more, along with prepping the one tooth for a new crown, she prepped another for a crown, so it will not fall out of my head. Then she saw two fillings she did not like and re-did those. If you are keeping track, that is two crown preps, two temporary crowns, two fillings and she ordered two permanent crowns. THEN, she began looking at these two crumbled teeth I have from previous bad root canals. She wanted to extract the roots. I did not want to do that until I could afford a bridge, a HUGE EXPENSE, and she asked if she could do that too. Can you believe the generosity and kindness of this dear child of God?? So she extracted the roots, and I will meet her again on Saturday, so she can prep those anchor teeth for a bridge and then put on a temporary bridge while the permanent one is ordered. This is such an amazing gift from God to me! I was worried about entering the religious life with my mouth still in such a sorry state, but I just figured vanity was no more, and I would end up with cheap ol’ dentures eventually. I was bummed about it because I LIKE my teeth, but I left it to God. Can you imagine the great financial cost this would be to me if I had to pay? I could never afford it. And here is this kind dentist, doing this out of the kindness of her heart, at her expense, and giving up her time. I am overwhelmed by the benevolence of God and of her. She is a beautiful, loving instrument in His hands. Please pray for her. Lord, please shower Debra with your grace and blessings and grant her great healing.
Now let me tell you about another great gift I received last week. Silly as it may seem, and definitely nothing I ever intended to act upon, I had always wanted a little statue of Mother Teresa. I did not tell anyone this. It is silly, really, but I love her spirituality, and I have learned much from her example. Well, out of the blue last week, I received a package in the mail from an elderly man whom I have never met. He lives in Hawaii, and I helped him with some legal issues via telephone and letters. He loves to write good ol’ fashioned letters and I love to receive them! Well, he has been kind enough to make regular donations to the Mater Ecclesiae Fund for Vocations on my behalf, little bits here and there, shaking down his friends for money, and sending it in every so often as it has added up over the years to a nice sum. Anyway, there was no letter in the box, and when I opened it, I found a lovely statue of Mother Teresa! A few days later I received a letter from him (Bill), and he said the statue had been peering out at him for quite awhile now, when he passed by the bookstore, and he decided to buy it for me. He asked the sales girl if someone going into a monastery could have such things, and was told, ‘sometimes they can, sometimes they can not.’ So he said if I could not keep it, could I give it to someone who would enjoy it. Wow. Please pray for this dear man. St Lucy, please intercede for Bill and his eyesight.
I feel like I am living in an almost constant state of wonder and amazement these days, as I watch the Lord work in so many tangible ways for my benefit, showing me His great love for me, by showing me how He loves me through His own children. The Holy Spirit is inspiring people in so many loving and peaceful ways. It is a blessing and a gift to know God loves us even when we do not feel His presence on a given day. But what a joy it is to feel His love when He is showering us with consolation! I must remember this when the arid days of the desert return . . .
Oh, another dear person in my life, Ursula, who asked my Mom if we could all go shopping so she could help buy things I need for the monastery….white shirts, a coat, shoes…..stuff like that. Dear Father, please shower your blessings and grace on Ursula and her family. Another gift, and another dear child of God helping me in more ways than they could ever imagine.…….. and always, more for me to marvel at as each day passes. Oh, boy, did I mention the prayer group that collects change each week and shared it with me to help my vocation? Bless them Father......
50 days……but who’s counting?