July 22, 2021: Feast of St. Mary Magdalene.
Dear brothers and sisters (you are mine if you are reading this),
I thought today is appropriate to share my gracefilled encounter with Abba John Eudes. God asked St. Magdalene to tell the disciples her most blessed encounter with the Lord. So today, on her feast day, I am inpired to do the same, with the Genesee brothers and with you. Thank You, God!
Here is mine:
PRAY FOR US O HOLY ABBOT BENEDICT! Pray for us, our Abbot John Eudes!
Being with God and looking down from above, Abba John Eudes knows well our hearts, our intentions and our actions. Like the Lord, the spiritual father has much sympathy for us all, including me. As I prayed Vespers I of the Solemnity of St Benedict, July 11, I missed Abba John Eudes very much because like Abbot Benedict, he was my Abbot whom God sent to help raise my spirit, teach me monastic spirituality, form me and found my vocation. He often encouraged me on this special feast and always included me as a daughter of this saintly Abbot Benedict. After more than 24 years being guided by the spiritual father, it is a temptation to feel that the Lord allows this soul to be abandoned in the desert for her own good and for the good of many!
When Vespers I was over, I kissed Abba’s relics as I sobbed… On the Solemnity, as I was driving into the city to go to Sunday Mass, I had breakfast because I was a little behind schedule. Looking at the time, I told myself I should finish eating because it was about an hour before Mass. Then I remembered once Abba JE told our spiritual group during one of the monthly conferences that it is an hour fast before Holy Communion. Then suddenly, the CD player in my car was turned on!!! I was absolutely and utterly dumbfounded. Both of my hands were preoccupied so it couldn’t have been me hitting the CD button accidentally. I did not even know what was inside the CD player since I hardly listen to anything when I drive.
It was the Abba’s voice. He was giving my spiritual group the conference on the Rule of St. Benedict which we read and wrote the reflection on it. O my God! I wept and wept and told him how much he is missed… I know he knows everything, so tears did most of the talking for me. When I calmed down, I listened more attentively. Then I heard the part where he was telling us about an hour fasting before Holy Communion!!! …
As I continue to thank God and reflect on the incident, I remember a few days before Rev Father passed away, I soberly asked him if possible, could he find a way to communicate with me from above. I could feel his spirit vividly the night he died as I walked home from the parking lot. I often sense his spirit when I pray in the Marian House chapel. A few weeks after he passed, I went back to the hospital with flowers and gifts to thank the staff. There were two exceptional nurses that helped care for Abba with great attention. Our favorite one is Kristen Truax who works on weekends and Bette Coney who works on weekdays (she was on call the day Rev. Father passed away). I knew for sure Kristen would be there on a Sunday night so I drove in. On the way to the hospital I told Abba JE: “It would be great if Bette works tonight, too, Rev Father. Then we can see them both”. When I got there, who but the two good and compassionate nurses greeted me with love and hugs… What is the chance for that to happen!!! I smiled at Abba JE and thanked God.
This holy spiritual father and priest was always generously eager to help ALL who asked for spiritual advice and for prayers. He never turned anyone away. Being a psychiatrist, he always had great interest in people and listened attentively to their life stories so he could help. He was a tough but loving and good shepherd with great zeal, patience, confidence and hope in God’s love and mercy for all. With faith in God who created and gave him to us, let us ask Rev Father for his intercession now that he can do much more for us from on high as we seek to love and do God’s will by carry our daily crosses faithfully and generously. Amen.
United in prayer and in God we trust,
p.s. The Queen of the Night flower bloomed on the Solemnity of St. Benedict for the Blessed Mother, the Queen of Heaven!