Hello, angel friends. As we begin Advent, think for a moment of what Christmas might be like if there are no angels taking part in any of the joy! Visions, songs, prophecy, all occur when angels speak . Their roles are truly important,
—Have I told you recently that if you click on an ad on my website (firstname.lastname@example.org)
It puts a few coins in the piggybank to cover mail costs? (It does!)
–I have been telling little stories about actress Loretta Young to the friends I have on Facebook. If you would like to read any of them, just check my page on Facebook. The point of this is that Loretta’s 100th birthday will be next month and cable TV as well as TNT will be carrying several of her movies. I wrote her biography in 2000 and the Hollywood Museum is arranging a display of the letters we exchanged. A lovely lady. And here is today’s story:
Bernice Wade lives on the island of Newfoundland, off the coast of eastern Canada. In early August she, her husband Gordon, and their two teenaged children decided to drive to Toronto, Ontario. They took an overnight ferry to North Sydney, Nova Scotia, and set out on the drive about 4:40 a.m.
Bernice was driving, and it wasn’t long before the rest of her family fell asleep. “I drove on and witnessed the day breaking,” Bernice says. “It was going to be a hot, bright, sunny August day and I looked forward to covering most of the 1,000 kilometers that day.” Bernice drove about another 45 minutes…and then slowly slipped into sleep.
“The next thing I remember was waking up and feeling both my arms vibrating and tingling, as if I had gotten a very strong electric shock,” Bernice says. “I realized instantly that I had fallen asleep but was at a loss to explain what had awakened me. All I know is that it wasn’t anything earthbound or a normal everyday occurrence. It could only be Heaven-sent.
“ I believe it had to be my Guardian Angel who saved me from having a terrible accident that morning,” she says. “He must have grabbed both my wrists and squeezed really hard to awaken me, while steering me out of danger. I was traveling very fast at the time. My arms tingled for at least half an hour afterwards.”
Why didn’t Bernice drive off the road, or hit another car? She says she is much more aware of guardian angels now, and will never be able to thank heaven for saving the entire family—from injury or even death.
Yes, angels must certainly be on the road, even when we’re not aware of it at all. But drive carefully anyway. They have enough to do!
Floods, fires, destruction of buildings, mud everywhere¦.to the people of the eastern seaboard, last week must have seemed like the end of the world. “Where were the angels?” many no doubt wondered. But of course, the angels were right there, as they always are, during times of disasters. The more apt question would be “Why didn’t the angels act to stop the devastation?”
For this question, I have no answer. The angels are God’s servants, not ours, so they would not be attempting to over-ride His authority. Instead, they would offer comfort or—in many cases——rescues. And yet it is hard to ignore certain signs. There seem to be an increasing number of natural disasters, frequently overlapping one another. Material things seem to be what are destroyed, rather than an expected loss of life. I notice also that those who have lost the most in tornadoes or droughts seem to be the most grateful. They are not too timid to publicly thank God for what has been spared.
Do you think there is any connection between natural disasters and spiritual behavior?
Hello, friends. I came across a touching quote last week: St Vincent de Paul once said that “people who work with the poor will not be afraid at the time of their deaths. “I guess it”s just a gift of peace God gives those who care for the least of His children. And here’s our story:
Tony was a lost and confused 22 year old in his senior year of college, he says. He was deeply depressed and didn’t know how to get out of it. Of course, alcohol was an easy and convenient way, and available wherever he went.
“One night, my roommate and I had a party,” Tony says. “My younger brother and sister drove up from our hometown to come as well. It was late into the night and I was pretty intoxicated—it had become almost a ritual for me to get drunk and then think even more about the pain I was trying to make go away. This would result in me crying to whomever was around. Tonight was no different and I was talking to my brother.”Â
Eventually Tony went to the bathroom. While in there, he noticed an almost-full bottle of prescription painkillers. He remembered them. He had used them temporarily after knee surgery. “Being young and intoxicated, a deadly combination for impulsiveness, I decided right then and there to end my life,” Tony says. He swallowed every pill, and then sat on the floor, waiting. Suddenly a moment of clarity came over him. It’s like when you’re sitting in a dark room on a cloudy day and the sun breaks through the clouds and the room just lights up. This is how I felt and I suddenly realized that I wasn’t ready to die…I wasn’t ready to leave my family and I wanted to fight this rather then end it.”
Chaos reigned as someone called an ambulance, and Tony was taken out of his apartment on a stretcher, in front of his shocked siblings. The next several hours passed in a blur, but eventually the emergency room personnel released Tony. He hadn’t slept, and felt as if a train had run over him. He stood in front of the hospital, waiting for his siblings to get the car and bring it around. There was just one person waiting too, in the middle of this night, a short, red-haired woman wearing glasses. She tried to make small talk, but Tony was short with his answers. He was still somewhat dazed. Had he really tried to kill himself?
The woman was talking again. “Why are you here?” she asked him.
He was going to brush her off again, but something stopped him. He thought to himself, “Tony, if you’re going to try and beat this and get yourself better, you might as well start being honest with other people about what’s going on.” Although she was a complete stranger, he found himself telling her what he’d done.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to pry,”the woman responded.
It was okay, Tony told her. He had been depressed, and wasn’t thinking right, but now he wanted to try and get better. It was getting cold so he went inside. He sat down on a bench in the dark deserted vestibule. Everything that had happened in the past several hours came flooding back, overwhelming him, and he put his knees to his chest, buried his head and began to cry. What was he going to do? How was he going to explain this to everyone?
“Then I felt an arm come around my shoulder,”Tony says. “I Iooked up and there was this same red-haired woman. ‘It’s ok,’ she said, “and it will be ok. You’re here now and that’s what matters.”
“It’s amazing what effect a few simple words can have. I realized she was right…I didn’t die, I was still here. That was my first step to get better, understanding that I wanted to try and get help. A few seconds after she said that, she was called back to the ER. I never saw her again.”
A great weight left Tony’s shoulders in the short time that the woman held him. “It was exactly what I needed at that moment, as if God sent her there just so I could have a few minutes of comfort,” he says.
That was five years ago. Tony went through several months of therapy and has discovered ways to cope with his depression. “I’m proud to report that I’m happy and healthy and have been for quite awhile,”he says. And he’ll never forget the woman who was there at the perfect moment. “I believe that she was my angel, sent to comfort me when I felt so lost and alone. No one, to this day, has ever had such an effect on me.
Hello, friends. I am either very early or very late with our story, but I know you will put up with it! As you know, I was also taking a roll call to see how many people actually read this newsletter. I did this because I use a mailing list to send the story out to each of you, and of course, I have to pay for each name. It isn’t a smart use of one’s resources, to send material to people who will just click through it! However, in addition to helping the folks in Arkansas, you also are loyal to me, and at least 50% of you responded—which is way better than average.
No one will be taken off the list, of course. This is a ministry, kind of, and we never know when an angel will change someone’s life. I’m willing to wait for the next good story to come along, aren’t you?
Connie Kennedy of Pawhuska, Oklahoma, has the best job in the entire world. Just as I do. We’re grandmothers! But there is an enormous amount of responsibility that accompanies this task, and one day Connie’s angels were really put to the test.
“I had recently purchased a new car,” says Connie, “and I wasn’t aware of all its safety features. Along with the car, we had also purchased a top-of-the-line car seat for our eighteen-month-old granddaughter Jennifer.” Eventually Connie felt more confident, and she decided to do some errands on a day when she was caring for Jennifer by herself.
“I was on a highway and Jennifer was in her new car seat, which I thought was correctly strapped down, in the back seat,” Connie recalls. The locks on the back doors were also child-proof. But Collie hadn’t realized that she has to enable the locks first… Now the car was on a long expanse of highway where some construction was going on. Connie was leading about fifteen cars along a one lane stretch when, all of a sudden the back door next to Jennifer flew open!, Shocked, Connie realized that the toddler had managed to undo the car seat and open the lock. Her car seat, barely strapped to the seat was wobbling around—any minute she could somersault right out of the seat and onto the pavement.
Jennifer hadn’t slid anywhere, however. Instead she was waving out the back window. “Hi hi!” she kept calling while wearing a huge smile. “Her face was lit up like a spotlight,” Connie says. “I couldn’t see anything out there in the fields for her to be waving at…and although I was in a panic to stop, with the construction trucks all over, there was no place to pull off.”
Forcing herself to be calm, Connie talked to Jennifer. “Hold onto your seat, honey,” she murmured. “Grandma will stop in just a minute.” But Jennifer was absorbed in whatever was outside her window. “She kept laughing, smiling and even pointing.” Finally after about five hundred yards, Connie was able to pull off on a side curb, get out, hug Jennifer, re-lock everything and shakily make her way back onto the highway.
Jennifer was completely calm during the whole incident, smiling and extending her little hands to something Connie couldn’t see. “But I know what was happening,” Connie says. “Jennifer should have plummeted out of the car seat and onto the road, maybe even been run over by the long stream of cars behind us. But something held her inside until I could get us to safety.
“Thank God for guardian angels. I know they were with us that day.”
Hello, friends. Help!…is anyone Out There an Ebay seller? I used to be, but I can no longer remember how to get the photographs from inside of the camera to the Ebay site. Ditto Craig’s list. I have a wonderful earth angel who helps me frequently, but he does not specialize in Ebay. People find it hard to explain technical things to me (it’s true!) or they give up (and I don’t blame them.) I would be very grateful if one of you gets in touch.
A few weeks ago, around the time we were collecting school supplies for Cayce Charities in Arkansas, one of our subscribers asked me an honest and logical question: If the people in Thornton, Arkansas continue to be so poor, why don’t they leave Thornton and look for a job elsewhere? Were we–by continuing to help them—actually enabling them to stay poor? This reader had no malice in her heart. She simply wondered—as many of us have—whether this was the best use of our time and treasure?
I thought about this for awhile, and decided to ask Joannie Cayce for her views on this topic. After all she and her extended family have been taking care of poor people for over forty years (JoAnn, now in her 70′s, is frequently called “The Mother Teresa of southern Arkansas.”)
“The area we serve is all of southern Arkansas, at least eleven counties, not just Thornton,” Joannie says. (And when disasters hit nearby, such as Katrina, refugees frequently end up in their area, via word of mouth.) “We help the poor—abused women, hungry poor children, common labor men injured at work with no compensation, foster children turning eighteen and entering the world with nothing,” says Joannie. “There are lots of poor women working but earning way below the poverty level.” (The clothes and other donations that we send, help these women keep their families together.)
Employment is over ten percent in the poor counties, and grandparents pick up the pieces of their grandchildren’s lives when the mother is in jail, rehab or has died. Poor seniors get about sixteen dollars of food stamps each month. “We have a constant flux of different needy families and seniors in many many different crisis,” says Joannie. “When the poor families lose their homes to a fire, tornado, flood, or other disasters they have no insurance, and their extended families are also poor. The problems are real and so are the people.”
The Cayces work hard long hours for no pay, but the difference they make is real. “The Lord Jesus said there will always be poor with us,” Joanie says. “I wish I could end poverty. I dream about it every day. But we have never expected to end it. We are just trying to answer the call and serve.
“That is all I can say.” Joannie
What do you think? Are the Cayces earth angels?
Hello, friends. .
Our angels watch over us in any situation—but perhaps our men and women in uniform deserve extra help. Brian Stack is one of them. A former fulltime police officer, Brian was on duty one night, riding his motorcycle, when he spotted a car whose driver was doing something illegal. There were two men in the car. Brian turned on his siren and his red-and-blue lights, but unlike the routine stop he’d expected, the car didn’t pull over. Instead, it accelerated. “I followed it for about four blocks, continuing to flash my lights,” Brian says, “and then suddenly the driver veered into the center of the double turn left lane.” Brian couldn’t stop and had to pass them.
“I started to make a u-turn to come back behind them. All at once, the driver accelerated. The car was coming right at me!” Brian could not get out of the way in time. The car hit his motorcycle dead center on his left side, and it flipped over.
Under normal circumstances, Brian should have been pinned, or at least badly hurt. But instead, without losing consciousness and feeling no pain at all, he was instantly aware of where he was, lying in the street on his back, BEHIND the car. How had he gotten here? He hadn’t flown through the air. “While I was still down, the driver started to back up towards me, probably to drive over me.” Brian drew his gun, and fired at the car. It stopped, reversed directions and sped away.
Still lying in the street, Brian used his portable radio to advise the dispatcher of what had happened and the description of the car and occupants. He was still on the radio when another officer arrived. “Brian, are you hurt?” the second officer bent over him.
“I’m not sure,” Brian answered. “How do I look? Do you see any blood?”
The officer looked his buddy up and down. “Not that I can see.”
“Then I must be okay,” Brian said. He stood up, completely unharmed.
“To this day,” says Brian, “I don’t recall how I got to the rear of the car after the impact. After we reconstructed the collision, there just wasn’t any way it could have happened.” To say nothing of the obvious fact that after being hit broadside, he didn’t have a scratch on him.
However Brian believes that his Guardian Angel has been with him his entire life, and was certainly on duty that night.
Hello friends. As promised, a quick recap of the Back to School project for our families in Thornton, Arkansas. The Cayces received school clothes and boxes of food (the Cayces can buy surplus, when available, for 18 cents a pound), and a lot of shoes. Oddly, they did not receive enough school supplies which is strange, since this is the primary need. (Maybe we all thought that school supplies are too heavy to send?)
No one is complaining! You are awesome people, to care about some of the worst cases of poverty in the country, and to follow through for people you’ve never even met. And at this time of year, the foster children turning 18 are being let out of the system with very few resources, so the Cayces’ garage is always in use as these young adult launched themselves into the world.
I know these past few years have been difficult for many, which makes your generosity even sweeter. Please continue to pray for all those who are suffering. And here’s our Story of the Week. (PS Would you please acknowledge that you got this story? Just click. I’m trying to clean the list.)
Rose McCarty was the seventh child in her family, and of course the older ones watched the younger group routinely. One evening her parents went grocery shopping, taking the baby along, but leaving the rest of the gang at home. Everyone knew the rules—no fooling around, or running or jumping. But of course they were knee-deep in bad behavior, when the wooden slats on their parents’ bed gave way, fell to the floor and broke.
“We were terrified of the trouble that would come when my father found out,” Rose recalls. “So, raised as good Catholic children, we put on our best clothes, lit a candle and asked St Joseph, the carpenter, to fix the broken bed.” The children set up their prayer vigil in a different room, thinking that it might be better to not actually witness their expected miracle. Instead, they would occasionally send one child into their parents’ bedroom as a scout to report to the others. St. Joseph seemed to be busy elsewhere, for the bed remained broken.
“About a half hour later, our parents’ car pulled into the driveway,”says Rose.”Our sister, Maureen, felt that the best thing to do would be to confess right away and accept our punishment.” So when their father carried in the first bags of groceries, Maureen brushed aside her tears. “Daddy, we’re sorry but we were bouncing on the bed,and we broke it,” she said.
Her father headed outside for another load. “Then I guess you’ll have to sleep on the floor,” he said over his shoulder.
The children looked at each other. Their father was somewhat of a tease, but obviously, he didn’t understand.”Daddy, we broke YOUR bed,” one of the boys confessed.
Their father set down the bag without commenting, and went out for the last of the load. When he returned, all the children were crying, and some were trying to explain about St Joseph. Obviously they were in deep trouble. So deep, in fact, that their father went out again, by himself, without a word to any of them. He was probably thinking up the worst punishment ever.
“Years later, our father told us that he had to go out to the yard that night because he was laughing so hard that he couldn’t stop,” Rose says. “There was no punishment. Even better, the entire family realized that St Joseph had indeed given the family its miracle.” The Holy Carpenter had not fixed the broken bed, but instead the situation. A much better solution!
“I never get tired of hearing this story,” Rose says today. “Feel free to share it with anyone. A good story of the pure faith of children should always be shared.
Jim Snyder would consider himself an ordinary man living an ordinary life, surely not one that involves angel sightings. But when his young wife died of pancreatic cancer, Jim was devastated by her loss. He tried to hold everything together and deal with his grief. But as months passed and Jim’s heartache continued, “I began asking God for a sign that everything would be okay, and that I would eventually get through this,” Jim says. One night, about six months after his loss, as he lay in bed trying to fall asleep, he opened his eyes for a moment. There, floating almost casually above his bed was an angel.
“The image was moving, and the face of the angel was surrounded by pillowy white clouds, almost like a wreath,” Jim recalls.
Jim could scarcely believe what he was seeing. He blinked several times, but the vision remained. Then slowly it moved across the ceiling. “It had the most peaceful look on its face,” Jim says, “and it slowly faded away. I lay there for several minutes, enjoying the calmest and most restful feeling I had ever experienced.”
Jim thought about the vision all week. Was it an angel? If so, why had it been sent to him? He was just an ordinary person, wasn’t he? Perhaps it had just been a figment of his imagination? And yet there had been that indescribable moment of joy and unshakable faith…
That Wednesday, Jim attended a Bible study meeting and also went to church services. As the groups broke up and people headed home, Jim asked the Bible instructor, a complete stranger, if they could speak privately. “I told him what had happened,” Jim says. “I wanted to know if he thought I was going crazy, or perhaps seeing things that weren’t there.”
The man smiled, as if he were not at all surprised by Jim’s words. He walked to his books lying on the table, and picked up his Bible. Turning to a marked page, he handed the Bible to Jim. “I noted this over twenty years ago,” he said, “when I saw an image very much like the one you’re describing.”
Jim could hardly believe it. He looked at the underlined text. “And God sent an angel to comfort him.” The brief verse described Jesus’ suffering in the garden before His crucifixion.
Jim was flooded with understanding. God had not sent an angel to banish his own son’s pain, or even to lift it, for this was not in the heavenly plan. But God had sent an angel—to his son and to every grieving person—to simply be there, with comfort and understanding. “Life is sometimes difficult,” Jim’s angel had been telling him, “but you will never go through it alone.”
“My life has been nothing short of miraculous ever since,” Jim says. “Just thought you would like to know.”
Hi, friends. Here is a new story:
I met Mary Ann Wickman several years ago. She works in a healing ministry,and is a good friend of the angels. Recently she was at Lambert St. Louis Airport flying back to Boston after a very fruitful weekend. “We had given a healing retreat at Our Sorrowful Mother’s Ministry in Vandalia, Illinois,” she says. The healing team included Mary Ann, Father Joe Whalen, Father John Welch and Philip Rego.
“Philip and Father Joe were ahead of us and went through the security checkpoint. Father Welch and I got to the first security guard (a woman) who asked for our identification,” says Mary Ann. “I presented mine and turned back—and noticed Father Welch’s face drain of all color. He had opened his wallet and there was no driver’s license; it was not to be found anywhere in the wallet.”
As Father Welch was fumbling through his pockets, Mary Ann was combing through his carry-on luggage on the floor. He had kind of a frozen-in-shock look, and she was trying to figure out what to do next. She was thinking that, “I’d let Philip and Father Joe go back to Boston and I would stay in St. Louis with Father Welch until we could get some identification sent to us from the priest’s rectory in Connecticut.” (Both priests are elderly,and need extra help.)
“At that moment I heard the most soothing, calm, strong and reassuring voice! I was kneeling on the floor going through the suitcase when I heard this voice say, ‘Father, Father please, it is alright. Don’t worry, look in your wallet again.’
Mary Ann was surprised to hear him addressed as ‘father’ at the airport. “Most times these days priests are called ‘sir’ or something secular,” she says. “I turned, and saw a tall, handsome man in his thirties, in a starched white shirt, dark blue pants, lots of what looked like medals or pins, very, very clean-cut and dressed immaculately. Father John just looked at him. In response,the young man said, “Please Father, look in your wallet again.’
So Father John opened his wallet again, and there was the license!
He stared in disbelief. Mary Ann turned back to the suitcase to zip it up and then heard, ‘Oh, Father, don’t forget your rosary that you placed in this bin.’ She turned and looked up but the young man was no longer there.
Father John said the same thing. He turned to get his rosary and this man had just disappeared. “He was not dressed like the other guards, and he seemed to materialize right in front of us and then disappeared,” Mary Ann recalls. “But in retrospect, we could not get over his voice. How soothing and reassuring it was, like none we had ever heard.”
The four had an enjoyable flight back to Boston, still amazed. “We always pray to holy Archangel Raphael to accompany us when we travel, as he is not only the patron of healing but traveling too,”says Mary Ann. “We also put his prayer cards in our luggage so it does not get lost. Father Welch and I both have the ‘knowing’ now that this was an angel sent to help us, and we feel it could very well have been Raphael our patron.
“I always say you are protected in proportion to your mission, wow! What protection priests have!”
Hello, friends. Hope you are enjoying the last remnants of summer. Here is a shortie:
There is a story told by a pediatric nurse serving in Danzig in 1945, after Russian troops had overrun many German towns. Local women were being abused, and nights were filled with terror. Nurses gathered as many women and children as they could, and found temporary lodging in a small makeshift school. The nurses often worked at night and, because of the lack of electricity, used candle stubs. Since theirs was the only lighted building, they too faced the danger of being invaded by the Russians. Yet the people called this building the â€œisland of peace”,because despite the surroundings, nothing bad ever seemed to happen there. Gradually the stream of those seeking shelter increased.
One day a woman brought her children and begged the nurses to take them. The children had had a completely secular upbringing and had never heard of prayer. That evening, as the community held a worship service, instead of folding his hands with the rest, the new boy stared into the distance with wide eyes. At the end, the community sang a familiar song, asking God to send angels to ‘place golden weapons around our beds.’
“When we said Amen, the boy came up to me and drew me out of the building,” the nurse reported. “He kept tapping his breastbone and saying, ‘Up to here. It came up to here on them’.”
The nurse asked him what he meant. Pointing up to the gutter on the roof of the building, he repeated his statement: “The gutter came up to here on them.”
“What are you talking about?”the nurse asked.
The boy told her that while everyone had been singing, he had seen a man ablaze with lights at every corner of the building. The men were so tall that they towered above the roof, their arms outstretched over everyone in the little structure.
“Now it was clear to me,” the nurse noted. “We had not seen them, but they certainly were watching us. This house could be called ‘the island of peace’ because angels guarded it all.”