Sunday, June 13, 2010
The miracle worker
Today is the Feast of St. Anthony so in his honor I was listening to one of my favorite songs by Gustav Mahler, "St. Anthony of Padua's Sermon to the Fishes."
I even posted it on Facebook. I know... Geek! Nerd! But it is a great song and a great performance. This video even has a translation. It is a funny story about how St. Anthony preaches to the fishes and they enjoy the sermon but they stay the way they always were. It is just like people! That is the point of the story.
The story, by the way, is true and it is one of the documented miracles of St. Anthony. He went out and preached to the fishes and they stuck their heads out of the water and listened to him. That is a picture of the event above and here is another.
St. Anthony has special powers and he had them even when he was alive. I love the description of him in the missal I take to church. "One of the greatest Franciscan Saints, St. Anthony was a profound theologian, a brilliant preacher, a formidable foe to heresy and a terror to heretics, through the supernatural forces which seemed always at his command."
I love that line about the supernatural forces at his command. It is the truth!
I was thinking of all the times St. Anthony has come through for me. One of the greatest times I do not think I ever got around to writing. After it happened I was just too stunned and then I kept saving the story for a rainy day.
Today is a rainy day! So, here goes.
This was a couple of months ago. And it had been weighing on my mind for a few weeks how I was missing this CD. I mean, I am always losing CDs, but this one was special. It had been sent to me by a friend at the International Piano Archives who has been very helpful to me and it is of Leonard Pennario playing Mozart's "Coronation" Concerto. And there is also an interview with Pennario.
And this CD had gone missing. I kept thinking about it. I mean, I could get in touch with my buddy at the Archives and I am sure he would send me another one. But it was so nice of him the first time and I did not want him to think me careless. I did not know how I could have misplaced this thing. I even had Howard bring home my old laptop which was over at his office. I was hoping maybe I had loaded the CD onto the laptop. No such luck!
I searched the office, meanwhile. And this box where I keep a lot of Leonard stuff. It was not anywhere!
Finally, one morning, I was downstairs getting my coffee and I asked St. Anthony about it. I say prayers a lot in the morning, I am realizing, because I am the only one up and I can pray out loud without sounding like an idiot.
I explained the business to St. Anthony about this CD and I remember I said it was not exactly an emergency, but if St. Anthony could get around to finding this CD for me, I would be grateful.
Then I went upstairs to the computer and was working on the book and to be honest, I forget about my prayer.
All of a sudden it was as if I heard this little voice. I mean, I did not actually hear a voice, I am not that nuts. But something intruded on my thoughts, this voice.
"Don't you want to find your CD?" it said.
And I looked up and kind of shook my head and laughed. There was no way I was going to start looking for this CD, not now. I had looked everywhere. I was not going to waste my morning looking again. St. Anthony would find it for me whenever.
"Just look," I heard. And I kind of shrugged. I am not moving, I thought. And I did not move. But to humor the voice, I kind of glanced at the floor.
And there was this CD, under the desk, face down.
"No way," I said out loud. I mean, I had looked all over the office. But just for the heck of it, I reached down and picked it up. I seem to remember I rolled my eyes as I did that.
It was it. It was that CD.
I actually got a shiver. You know the way you get when you see something you cannot explain. I had to kind of sit there for a while and get my head together. Because in that minute I just knew that there was this power out there, and I was very close to it. When St. Anthony finds something for you I do not think it is just a favor he is doing for you. I think it is his way of reminding you that what you believe is real.
I think that is my greatest St. Anthony story. There is a funny postscript. I went to church and told Father Secondo over at St. Anthony's about it and he was laughing. He reminded me of that other time when St. Anthony found that Mozart record I was looking for.
"I think St. Anthony likes Mozart," he said.