Wednesday, October 19, 2016

An Astonishing Gift

A Wonderful Surprise

A long-time reader has gifted the Bear with an astonishing example of generosity that he would like to share. It is a First Class Relic of St. Maurus, with the accompanying 1959 (if the Bear remembers his Roman numerals) bull attesting to its authenticity, and suitability for both private and public veneration. The Bear knows this must have been terribly hard to part with.

St. Maurus was born in 510, and died in 584. He was educated by St. Benedict, and was the very first Benedictine Oblate. (The Bear and his wife are oblates, which makes the gift extra special.) He was sent to France in 543 to found the order, and served as abbot. He was known as a miracle worker.

The gift will be treasured and honored. It has already been introduced to our boys, and installed on our home shrine. We say we believe in the communion of the saints, but like most things we say, it is sometimes good to actually think about them.

Communion of the Saints

Certainly, St. Maurus is before God, interceding for us. His relic is like the terminus of a wire into Heaven, where he is. All the saints are. But it is also true that Catholics are linked in a common body. Sometimes my wife, or my daughter, and I, will make a phone call to the other at the very same time. We always say "communion of the saints!" when these "coincidences" occur. Sometimes, more seriously, we feel pain in another member. Sometimes we help a brother or sister, and even seem to know just what to do.

The Bear knows how deeply wounded so many of you are by the patent errors of this pontificate. He knows he certainly is. It can be very discouraging to dwell on the crisis in the Church. Sometimes even a Bear needs to take a little break. After 1200 articles in three years, you know it will not be for long. Soon he will be back on his unicycle, juggling copies of Amorous Laetitia while catching salmon in his teeth. He can't do a blessed thing about our mutual misery, except shed a little light, and  maybe make you smile.

There are worse things.

You know, none of us - us ephemerists - asked for this job. None of us enjoys it. (Although the Bear certainly hopes you enjoy most of his writing.) None of us wanted to dislike Francis, and none of us are comfortable in the prophetic role.

And yet here we are. We run real spiritual risks. We are driven - or at least the Bear is - by a belief that it is a good in itself to speak the truth, and no one, least of all the Catholic Church, should fear the truth. There is no doubt about the truth, right? Any institution that need fear the truth is in big trouble.

Sometimes the Bear suffers from spiritual shell shock and retreats into 30s Warner Brothers films. A little USO.

"Thank You" is Inadequate

The following is not (this time) asking for salmon. Every time the Bear gets a donation, maybe $10; maybe more, the value of the encouragement is greater than the money. Every time a new person comments, the Bear feels he has connected with another friend. It sounds corny to say these connections are what keeps him going, but it's true.

The Bear's readers are unusually generous. (They are also the best commenters in Catholic Blogdom. The Bear is very proud of that. If you want to know what kind of ephemeris you are looking at, check out the comments.)

An astonishing gift like this tells this disreputable old show Bear that something else is going on. A First Class Relic does not come into one's care without reason. "Thank you," seems not only inadequate, but does not completely recognize the very real, gritty, connection between Catholics who are having a conversation that goes: "Here, you need this;" and "Yes, I do, very much." When you're out of ammo and your buddy hands you fresh magazines, you don't say "thank you," as if it were a present.

I am probably not saying what I mean to say. For once I am at a loss in putting words to my meaning. I am certainly grateful, and suppose I should just say "thank you."  At the risk of complicating things, however, maybe something of what I'm trying to say that is more will come through.

The Bear needed a spiritual kidney. He found a donor without even looking.


  1. I think you expressed your thanks exceedingly well. You came across as humbly speechless and that must be very hard for a bear. Thank you for sharing your gift with us. It is a beautiful.

  2. There are no coincidences. The relic belongs with you, and what a wonderful and generous gift to give you.

  3. Please remember us Bear, as you kneel before your holy shrine. St Maurus, pray for us. God bless your benefactor.

  4. I think I know what you mean, Bear; it's a kind of subconscious or spiritual communication. You read about it a lot with St. Therese of Lisieux, for example, when a person asks St. Therese for a rose as a sign of her intercession, and they're soon approached by someone saying, "I don't know why, but I really want to give you this rose." It's happened several times to me along spiritual lines, and also with my mother, on emotional lines. If she's having some kind of distress and can't sleep, almost every time, I've had trouble sleeping, too -- and I rarely have that trouble.

    People have told Padre Pio holy card stories that are similar, too -- things like their Padre Pio card going missing, but when they really felt they needed one, a neighbor or a stranger happened to hand them one.

    It's even happened to me with pets. One night, I kept hearing my parent's Scotty/Cairn mix yipping. They're five miles away. The next day, my mom told me the dog was sick and had cried all night.

  5. I was once distressed for days reading about a British Muslim woman who brutalised her son for years and then eventually murdered him when he was seven. She had been educated by nuns in India. I thought there might be a chance that despite her depravity she might have baptised the child at some point. I asked The Little Flower to send me a sign that the boy was with Jesus. Within the hour I went to my mailbox and received a letter embellished with roses.

  6. I just found my scapular. Bear we're all in this together. Thank you. Your words about your family inspired me to seek more ways to build my children up with Heaven in their hearts, and the courage to live within the Truth that God has given us through all His Church, and all His blessed Angels and Saints. I appreciate your gifts.


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