Donnerstag, 13. November 2008

The amazing Rosary

Jim Castle was tired when he boarded his plane in Cincinnati , Ohio , that
night in 1981. The 45-year-old management consultant had put on a week
long series of business meetings and seminars, and now he sank gratefully into
his seat ready for the flight home to Kansas City , Kansas .

As more passengers entered, the place hummed with conversation, mixed with
the sound of bags being stowed. Then, suddenly, people fell silent. The
quiet moved slowly up the aisle like an invisible wake behind a boat. Jim
craned his head to see what was happening, and his mouth dropped open.

Walking up the aisle were two nuns clad in simple white habits bordered in
blue. He recognized the familiar face of one at once, the wrinkled skin,
and the eyes warmly intent. This was a face he'd seen in newscasts and on
the cover of TIME. The two nuns halted, and Jim realized that his seat
companion was going to be Mother Teresa!

As the last few passengers settled in, Mother Teresa and her companion
pulled out rosaries. Each decade of the beads was a different color, Jim
noticed.. The decades represented various areas of the world, Mother Teresa
told him later, and added, 'I pray for the poor and dying on each continent.'

The airplane taxied to the runway and the two women began to pray, their
voices a low murmur. Though Jim considered himself not a very religious
Catholic who went to church mostly out of habit, inexplicably he found
himself joining in.

By the time they murmured the final prayer, the plane had reached cruising
altitude. Mother Teresa turned toward him. For the first time in his life,
Jim understood what people meant when they spoke of a person possessing an
'aura'. As she gazed at him, a sense of peace filled him; he could no more
see it than he could see the wind but he felt it, just as surely as he
felt a warm summer breeze.

'Young man,' she inquired, 'do you say the rosary often?' 'No, not
really,' he admitted.

She took his hand, while her eyes probed his. Then she smiled. 'Well, you
will now.' And she dropped her rosary into his palm.

An hour later Jim entered the Kansas City airport where he was met by his
wife, Ruth. 'What in the world?' Ruth asked when she noticed the rosary in
his hand. They kissed and Jim described his encounter.

Driving home, he said. 'I feel as if I met a true sister of God.'

Nine months later Jim and Ruth visited Connie, a friend of theirs for
several years. Connie confessed that she'd been told she had ovarian
'The doctor says it's a tough case,' said Connie, 'but I'm going to fight
it. I won't give up.' Jim clasped her hand. Then, after reaching into his
pocket, he gently twined Mother Teresa's rosary around her fingers. He
told her the story and said, 'Keep it with you Connie. It may help.'

Although Connie wasn't Catholic, her hand closed willingly around the
small plastic beads. 'Thank you,' she whispered. 'I hope I can return it.'

More than a year passed before Jim saw Connie again. This time her face
was glowing, she hurried toward him and handed him the rosary.

'I carried it with me all year,' she said. 'I've had surgery and have been
on chemotherapy, too. Last month, the doctors did second-look surgery, and
the tumor's gone.. Completely!' Her eyes met Jim's. 'I knew it was time to
give the rosary back.'

In the fall of 1987, Ruth's sister, Liz, fell into a deep depression after
her divorce. She asked Jim if she could borrow the rosary, and when he
sent it, she hung it over her bedpost in a small velvet bag. At night I held on
to it, just physically held on. I was so lonely and afraid,' she says,
'yet when I gripped that rosary, I felt as if I held a loving hand.'

Gradually, Liz pulled her life together, and she mailed the rosary back.
'Someone else may need it,' she said.

Then one night in 1988, a stranger telephoned Ruth. She'd heard about the
rosary from a neighbor and asked if she could borrow it to take to the
hospital where her mother lay in a coma. The family hoped the rosary might
help their mother die peacefully. A few days later, the woman returned the
beads. 'The nurses told me a coma patient can still hear,' she said, 'so I
explained to my mother that I had Mother Teresa's rosary and that when I
gave it to her she could let go; it would be all rosary in her hand. Right
away, we saw her face relax. The lines smoothed out until she looked so
peaceful, so young.' The woman's voice caught. 'A few minutes later she
was gone.'

Fervently, she gripped Ruth's hands. 'Thank you.'

Is there special power in those humble beads? Or is the power of the human
spirit simply renewed in each person who borrows the rosary? Jim only
knows that requests continue to come, often unexpectedly. He always responds
though, whenever he lends the rosary, 'When you're through needing it,
send it back. Someone else may need it.'

Jim's own life has changed, too, since his unexpected meeting on the
airplane. When he realized Mother Teresa carries everything she owns in a
small bag, he made an effort to simplify his own life.

'I try to remember what really counts - not money or titles or
possessions, but the way we love others,' he says.



Please feel free to pass this mail on, especially to all those in despair
so that they might know that they are not alone in their hour of need.

The reason I sent you this mail is because I know the power of the prayers
of these simple beads and I wanted to share it with you.

Every sacrifice has a fruitful reward. Every failure has a second chance.

We only have to be strong thru God's grace and persevere in life's many
tests! May GOD bless you always.

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