Mother Angelica used to tell a story, before her miraculous healing in 1998, about a lady who came to one of her talks. The lady came up afterwards and said, “Mother your talk changed my life!” Mother said, “Wow! Glad to know that. What did I say that so moved you?”
“I didn’t hear a word you said.”
Mother was like, “Huh?” “If you didn’t hear what I said, how did it change your life?”
“Well, you see, I need leg braces to walk. And my friends tell me it’s because I don’t have enough faith. And I was sitting in the audience today, and I saw you come out on stage, and I saw that you wear braces. You’re a woman of great faith, and you have to wear braces. So that proves my friends are wrong!”
Well, I had a similar moment today. As I reported last night, Fr. Benedict Groeschel, CFR, is giving a series of talks here in Columbia at St. John Neumann Church. They had a noon Mass today. I took the kids. We got there just after the homily, so I didn’t hear Fr. Benedict’s homily.
Allie sat with one of the families from our homeschool group. I had Gigi, Joe and Clare in the cry room, and I was in my motorized wheelchair.
At Communion, I came up with all three kids in my lap. After Mass, I went over to where Allie was. I had never met the husband in that family before, and I asked him, “How was she?”
He said, “I’d trade her for one of mine any day!”
That was nice.
There were only about 30 people at Mass, and Father was in the vestibule, shaking hands. Allie, Joe and Gigi went up to him. They came back. I said, “Did you do it?” Allie said, “All he did was ask our names, and I told him, and he blessed us.”
I was waiting for the people to disperse a bit, so I could get the chair through. Father came back through, on his way to the sacristy. He walked up to me and said, “You’re Amazing! I can’t believe how you had all those three kids in your lap in that thing, and they were all so well-behaved!”
I thanked him.
A few other people made nice comments. The kids were playing in the grass outside church, and one lady said, “Wow! Doesn’t that just warm your heart? They’re so adorable!”
Then Father came out to go to his car, smiling, and he said again, “I can’t believe you, bringing all those kids to Mass! That is so wonderful!” His assistant, Fr. Terrence, said something similar. I told him how Allie used to insist on watching Mass on EWTN every day when she was little, and how she knew all her responses in both Latin and English when she was 2.
Mary said, “We’ll have to watch _Sunday Night Live_ this week to see if he talks about you! . . . ‘I met this guy this week who has a brain aneurysm, and he’s in a wheelchair, and he has four kids and brings them all to Mass. What’s your excuse?”