Signs and wonders: past and present

 (Note: the Spanish version will appear next Monday in a separate page. — La versión en español aparecerá el próximo lunes en una pagina separada al lado derecho de este blog, titulada, “SEÑALES Y MARAVILLAS: pasadas y presentes.”

God has knitted a special life for all of us, all… like a garment that will only fit each one of us… and these stories will prove to you why I believe in this statement in a very personal way. His call is unique for each to do a special work for the Kingdom (salvation of others and of ourselves). God the Father sent His only begotten Son to this earth with a very special work to do, and through Him, in Him and with Him, we become adopted kids and therefore, we also have a very special work… Therefore, He marks our lives with signs and wonders to signal to us how unique we are, how much He loves us, and uses these signals to proclaim His Presence in our lives at different times and in ways that no one else would be able to do, so that we can keep score of our uniqueness. The outside world calls many of this signs, luck… Has anyone ever asked the question, “What is luck?”

So, as you read this sharing of signs and wonders I have seen in my life, keep in mind yours… Have you ever made a list? The responsorial Psalm for yesterday’s Mass said, “Remember the marvels the Lord has done.” Psalm 105: 5a.The point is that we must grow in faith just by looking at what He has done in a very particular way for each one of us.  You shall get more ideas of what I am trying to say through the following stories which will also bring you very important medical concepts. The same Psalm 105: 1b says: “Make known among the people His deeds.” I will try to do so today.

1. As you know, I have been asked to pray for a new Pentecost for the ministerial Priesthood under the sponsorship of St. Joseph… As it turns out, through a magnificent homily given by a priest in the Eternal Word Television Network last March 10th, exactly 9 days before his feast, I was reminded that he is the Patron of the universal Church (Catholic Church)… But look at other old hints I had received related to this Saint and also new signs as recent as March 10th

1) I was born in the city of San José, in the province of San José, and San José is the patron saint of this Latin American country where I was born… Hmm.

2) St. Joseph was the intercessor for my first major miracle on this earth: at age 9, and I believe I had shared this story in these blogs before: my grandmother had bought me a Schaeffer pen (American product and expensive), one that I had to fill up with ink every so often, but it would eliminate the old way of pens that needed a constant deepening in ink… It was expensive for us in those days. I lost it the following day and I had no idea if it had been stolen in my third grade classroom or if it had fallen from my book bag into the street… I promised St. Joseph one Our Father daily for the rest of my life if the pen came back to me. Within hours, my grandma came and said, “You left your pen on the dining table… Of course, I had not because it had been gone for almost two days, and we both had eaten on that table and it was not there…” Unfortunately, I quit my daily Our Father about a year later… I am sure St. Joe understood the exaggerated mind of a nine year old in great trouble. My grandma was a very loving but a stern lady, a perfectionist!

3) Some decades ago, my husband took me to Montreal, Canada, to visit some friends from his home country in the Caribbean. In a short span of time, we repeated the visit several times and even had taken my Mom and Grandma there. Obviously, I visited the oratory of St. Joseph and learned all about Brother Andre…. The EWTN homilist who spoke about St. Joseph had grown in Montreal…

4) After Communion on March 10th, I realized that to get a clear idea if I should continue with these blogs, I should start a novena to St. Joe. After all, he was going to help in my work of praying for a new Pentecost for Priests. Besides, St. Joseph is for me like a true Papa, since I was born in his city… In fact, I even remember that the first name of our present Pope is Joseph! I came home and that evening I looked intently for a novena. Most of my religious books are in boxes in a storage place 3 blocks away…  I then remembered that again out of the blue, some 4 months ago in only 5 boxes left in the garage, I had found the very old prayer book of this same maternal grandma. I knew it would have some prayers to St. Joseph…

I got it and started looking and indeed there is a special section for St. Joseph, but inside I also found a leaflet written in Spanish, basically disintegrating  and published by  L’ORATOIRE SAINT-JOSEPH DU MONT-ROYAL, Montréal, Canada… It was a novena to St. Joseph with the imprimatur from Archbishop Joseph Charbonneau, copyrighted January 1, 1944…. Inside there was a card of then just Bro. Andre, C.S.C. with prayers to this now Blessed, and with imprimatur from the same Archbishop and same year. This was a huge sign… This leaflet is 64 years of age and it appeared precisely when I had to start to pray for Priests, plus it had followed me since my childhood since I am sure my grandmother used it… Wow… Immediately I realized that this novena should be prayed at least once per month, as part of my prayer that united to my crosses and the Passion of Jesus, will become the backbone of this intercession for this new Pentecost… Hmm. Is God a funny one or not?

5) But, just imagine that I also grew with an extended family where the life of St. Teresa of Avila was read at the dinner table… And she would carry a statue of St. Joseph to each new convent she founded…So the Carmelite Order was part of my life and for me as a child, St. Joseph was a miracle worker, just as Blessed Bro. Andre used to say… And there are more signs with members of this Order: when I was just 2 years old, as my grandma was sitting against the head of her bed praying the Rosary around 5 AM in the morning, a picture of St. Therese of Lissieux that was on the wall right on top of my crib, fell on me… My grandmother used to tell me over and over through the years, how she got up and ran towards the crib since upon the impact of the picture I would wake up screaming… By the time she got to me, the picture had gone back to the wall… There was enough light in the room for her to see the flight of this picture back to its original place… I still have this old picture stored in a box some 3 blocks from here…

So, through the years, she was like my friend and still is, because my Grandma had said that she had come to visit me… To this date, I feel a love like one has for a relative. And St. Therese, after her trip to Rome at age 14 to ask for permission from the Pope to join the Carmelite Order, she came back resolute to pray from then on for Priests … She saw certain attitudes that she did not like… and this around the turn of the XX C. Ten years later she would die and she promised that she would be praying in heaven for all of us; so, I imagine she is still praying for the Priesthood… Sometime in 1985, I was asked in my quiet time to spiritually adopt all Priests… When I visited Lissieux in 2003, I prayed to her that I would know from the Holy Spirit how to adopt them… I had a friend who lent me a first class relic of hers, and I wore it around my neck for an entire year with his permission, and one day, while working in Steubenville, OH, it suddenly felt on the street, and then I knew I had to give her back to my friend… SIGNS, SIGNS… I had met this man in a retreat in Santa. Fe, New Mexico and somehow we became friends; he later became a deacon and he, wife and children became very close to me for many years… We always said that St. Therese had gotten us together…SIGNS, SIGNS, SIGNS…She has been around me…

2. I had told you that I lose my memory with fluoride… I had also said that at age 4, I knew I would become a doctor and a secretary… The doctor part I never understood well… Why? The secretary part fulfilled by age 11 had been clearly given to help me now in order to type very fast… I had also shared that I wanted to be a cardiologist but that one day I woke up and knew I had to be an anesthesiologist, even that I had always detested operating room work of any kind… Because here and there since the mid 90’s my gallbladder has given me trouble, I treat it with antibiotics, except that I do not have a license to practice medicine in this State that I live in and I cannot get hold of any treatment as such… So this time, it has been some four weeks of discomfort and I have contemplated to have surgery done. I had thought about it before I left the previous city, some 9 months ago, since I had a bout some two months before my departing time. Every time I prayed about it and felt it was not to be. I never had a general anesthetic and I knew the perfect anesthesia team and surgeon to treat me in this other Midwest city, where I lived the last 10 years. 

Just 1 week ago and while thinking about this surgery, I suddenly realized that all anesthetic gases are fluorinated… and that I should not have them be used on me ever… Besides, I also remembered that we have had cases in the literature of memory loss after anesthesia I went to Google search machine, and yes, the literature is extensive: some people lose their memory for one week, one month or forever after general anesthesia, although no one knows why!!!!!!!!! You may look up in the “page” section where I will post a page titled “Anesthesia and memory loss” with scientific evidence of this being so.

 BUT EVEN MORE AMAZING is that just two nights ago, while conversing with my son at the dinner table, somehow I remembered the time my grandma had broken her hip while we lived in Ohio in the early 80’s, and how she underwent an 8 hour general anesthetic and how she lost her memory forever… In time it forced me to take her to her only other daughter living in my home country, since she was not able to walk nor recuperated her memory. My grandmother had been the conduit used by God to reveal to me precisely at this moment that I should never receive a halogenated anesthetic agent (as we call these gases). Look next to some details related to the care of this God for me, preventing me through the years from receiving a general anesthetic.

1) If I had not become a doctor, I would never have had the ability to notice my memory losses with scientific discernment through the years and tie them to fluoride.

2) And later as an anesthesiologist (not a cardiologist), helped me to know that anesthetic gases are fluorinated and there are cases in the literature of patients losing their memory after an anesthetic … If I were to need a general anesthetic, we have ways to give them without using these gases… But I had to know all of this to request such anesthetic… I never paid attention to it until I arrived here à when I started losing my memory by drinking the wrong bottled water and followed by a re-awakening to my tendency of years to lose memory with fluoride; then, recuperating it by staying away from this water and using Evian only, and having my gallbladder get sick with some infection without the use of antibiotics, so that the need for surgery had to become a real possibility…

Not only that, had I proceeded to have it done before I traveled this way, I would have been exposed to fluoride…because at that time, my history of fluoride related loss of memory was not in the front pages of my brain… Finally, the story of my grandmother’s memory loss, never seen as anything in particular, surfaced from my brain just two days ago, to indicate that most likely I inherited this problem from her… Was this luck? Impossible… Some One out there, a Being Whose other Name is Mercy, was behind the scenes doing it all… Amazing grace, how sweet the sound!

3) Years ago, when medical circumstances pointed to problems with my womb, I asked not to have just a D&C, short for cleaning with a curette the lining of the uterus to make a diagnosis. I asked for a hysterectomy instead, or removal of the womb via a spinal anesthetic. Right and there I avoided another possibility of receiving anesthetic gases.

4)  When I was in labor to deliver my third son, now a theologian, we had just moved to Ann Arbor and my doctor was north of Detroit, and we traveled late that evening of March 25 to the hospital… and on such special Feast, to be sure I would get there in plenty of time… I was given a sedative at 10 PM in hopes for the labor to continue as I slept… The following morning at  6:30 AM, the doctor came to see my progress and decided to rupture the bag of waters. This normally is a tocolytic, or moves the uterine muscle to contract and accelerates labor quite a bit, so, may be in two to four hours the delivery occurs in someone like me who had already other kids. When he did break the bag, very green liquid came out, which means that the fetus or baby was in extreme suffering and we call that “fetal distress”… A cesarean section was immediately scheduled since the chances of a baby dying are huge… This normally happens in 20 minutes (the readiness of an operating room for an emergency cesarean) and this in one of the best 100 hospitals of the U.S.!!!

However, the baby was born naturally in 10 minutes and the surgery was canceled. Up to a couple of days ago, I partially understood the reason for this to happen and which was unheard off, that is to break the bag of waters and have a baby out 10 minutes later. The child was soo sick that he spent 3 days in the neonatal intensive care unit and I was told that this infant  may end up being retarded… The man today is very intelligent with studies in Steubenville, Dallas and Rome… I thought that because this baby was chosen to serve Him, He did not want a general anesthetic on this fetus already so sick… It was not totally true. I would have also received a general anesthetic for sure, since spinals or epidurals are contraindicated because of the time consumed in placing them… if they work properly! I may have received my early Alzheimer’s status with fluorinated gases… and leave 3 small kids motherless… At the time, I had no idea of my genetic predisposition… Was that luck? Nah… Impossible… The Lord is merciful…

3. And how did I get interested in naturopathic medicine, now also called functional medicine, versus just allopathic medicine (MD’s)…? How did I experience an interest in the brain… in its plasticity and its association with memory…? Hmm. Another sign…à Being an only child of my mother and of my grandma for 18 years, I brought them to live with me shortly after I was married, and something very common among Latin Americans… I was pregnant with my first son and these two women would take care of this child for me to continue with my residency in anesthesia…Yet, my husband and mother never got along… A cross that rendered its fruit… Romans 8:28! A severe back pain started while pregnant with my first child and continued for 15 years… It got worse especially during the pregnancy of each child… I had to wear special supporting belts to avoid too much strain on my spine…

Because of my first major professional horrible persecution already explained in past blogs, I moved to a different State and here I found that the other two anesthesiologists were treating back pain with epidurals with steroids. Then it was the beginning of pain therapy by anesthesiologists since we are experts at giving epidurals for surgery… After attending some workshops, I started doing it as well. This led me to attend a meeting in New Jersey for psychologists and pain therapy specialists. I used to take at least two Darvon’s per day, in the days when this drug was not considered a narcotic type of medication… It is not a narcotic but it has potential for habit forming. I took one the morning of this particular conference…

By now I knew how a PhD in Education had been cured of cancer and I had met him 10 years later, after being opened and closed and sent to his home to die, at this very famous Clinic where I had worked … He had imagined his cancer cells being eaten by his immune cells in the form of huge polar bears…  I had learned this precisely during the year that I chose to stay home after the first persecution… So, a job was ready for me as my next assignment precisely in a place where these two women were practicing back pain therapy. I had to do the same and this led me to go to several conferences on the subject matter. God had every part of my garment so well stitched that all the details where very important. Had I gone to a different hospital, I may have missed this opportunity of getting into the subject matter that eventually helped me…

During this session with these psychologists coming from a Jesuit University in WI, we were asked to relax, to close our eyes and to think what had happened during the year prior to the onset of the back pain… I immediately knew that it started when this animosity between these two people at home had developed and how I had been forced to ask my mother and grandma to return to my home country… In this meeting we were told to tell them off, but in images and to punish them in whatever way we felt at the time, but again, in images… I did… Once we had finished, we were asked to go back in time and see what the subconscious mind would bring if there was another major problem of people around us producing suffering. Another couple did surface and I did the same to them in images… I left this room and never used one more Darvon… I had been cured in 30 minutes and never paid a penny for it. I had paid for the entire conference but not for this healing.… Was this luck? Nah… God had led me to learn how to use my own God given resources to deal with a pain that had been buried inside for years… Was this grace? Of course, it was…

Scientific reasoning: the emotional energy of the anger and resentment would send my back muscles into spasm, although this anger would not show up in my relationship with these people, not even once… The moment I had dealt with the anger, and my right brain thought that it was truly real, just as I salivate when I close my eyes and think that I am cutting a lemon, well, I had released this anger and it cured my back… Is all back pain due to this? No but to this date, I still wander why in back pain therapy, this is not the standard treatment prior to epidurals… and see if it is due to anger to someone and never expressed, and perhaps in my case because the second most important commandment and the fourth one were reigning in my heart… After this powerful personal experience and the cure of cancer of this Doctor in Education, I had been convinced that our brain can do many things, and that we have recourse to heal it… even when I had no idea about the plasticity of our brains as I know it now… So, when I eat, I eat for my brain… and fish oil is one the best foods for it… I needed to tell you this story, despite the pain of making it public, because it may benefit others and whom you may know to suffer from back pain.

4. But God had not stopped just at this new respect for the function of my brain to sign about my memory problems in future years… He gave me two memories… Am I crazy? Nah… When I was a teen I found out that one of my first cousins was also born with two memories; so it is genetics… They are identical memories but they change on me without my permission, but I can change them just by I wanting to… And every time I get to a new place, I have to learn the geography with the two memories… Otherwise, I may be driving in one memory and if changes without I asking for it, I am lost, if by now my other memory has not learned the new place… What I forget to do is when I lose memory like I did when I drank the wrong bottled water on my arrival to this State, is to find out if  both memories are affected… In any case, He made sure that I would think of my memory in a very special way. When I was a kid, one of my pastimes was to change my memory at will…  

5. Well, yesterday after Mass, I went to this supermarket… I was not sure if I was going to stay to pray the Rosary with other parishioners, but my gallbladder was not doing well, and I decided to leave and stop at the supermarket and get home sooner… Notice the element of time… There is a time for everything under the sun… so says the Bible. After I shopped and was in line to pay, the bagger was changed (long story).  The cashier had to bag my things until a young man came and finished and helped me to bring my things to the car. Then, I reminded him that we had met in similar circumstances some 3 months ago. He is 20 and going to college and planning to become an x-Ray technician… He remembered me as well, and when we got to the car he started telling me a story, since we had established a prior friendship (notice the scenarios already being framed for both of us). He said that he and his two friends were deciding what to do…. They finally kept driving in his car and ended up in my city near a beautiful city park that looks into this water way. They started walking and going up and up, and because we had 5 days of rain, their shoes were covered with mud… He was chatting with his friends about how his girlfriend had just left him… (Notice how he was dealing with the pain of rejection, his need for love). Some half our later, they came down and noticed that their shoes were clean and he had no animosity for her girlfriend any more… up to the point of the moment we were conversing!

I immediately said, “This is a sign from God. Are you going to church? He is calling you.” He said, “I have not been at church for a while.” I then remembered that I had asked him to go to church the previous time I had met with him and that he was Catholic. Sure enough, it was so… I sent him back to church and very sternly said, “No girlfriend, no wife, no children, no mother or father could do for you what His love can. Get that in your head now and forever… Seek Him…. Ask Him to show you how to encounter Him… and what His will is for you. He will do it. We have met for you to tell me about your sign, now that I am discussing that topic with some friends… And for me to realize that He is alive and still in the business of giving signs and wonders; also to meditate on how He had made this appointment for both of us… today…” I left him smiling from ear to ear… and like in a trance. I will place him in my prayers by name… I just wonder if this young man made be one called to be a priest…!!!

In fact, whenever I hear that marriage permission will increase the numbers in the Catholic ministerial priesthood, I smile… In fact, I cannot give more details than that, but marriage and children cannot give the love and support that Christ can if we seek Him day and night by truly repenting and believing in the Gospel, doing what He said we should. His love makes up for any other love… There is not even a comparison… The love of God is freeing. The love of another human may be constrictive and costly, even in the best of cases… It is good but extremely costly. I can prove it because of the number of divorces. Are we trading one problem for another, and condemning our priests to live with somebody they do not get along with? Ouch! St. Paul is emphatic with Titus regarding presbyters getting married only once!… Whoever says that a married priesthood will change matters, does not know the Christ that I know nor what married life is all about… They may have heard about it, but they may not know what it truly is, even in the best of circumstances, unless the will of God is behind it for each individual person, to provide the wisdom and courage to live the call.   

6. Out of the blue, two days ago I received another sign. I found a tiny piece of paper lost in my Breviary and I had written what I had understood in Holy Hour on March 11, 2004: à“Born again in the Spirit is to understand the love of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and experience it, to in turn give birth to othersAnd I thought that it was exactly what Our Lady did… And also, somehow I ended up in this page of the Liturgy of the Hours for Friday of the Seventh Week of Easter, from the Treatise on the Trinity by St. Hilary. “The Father’s gift in Christ à Unless the human soul absorbs the gift of the Spirit, through faith, the mind has the ability to know God but lacks the light necessary for that knowledge! This unique gift which is in Christ is offered in its fullness to everyone. It is everywhere available, but it is given to each man in proportion to his readiness to receive it!”

And our readiness depends in our serious yes to His will, to His crosses, to a prayer life that is done not out of routine, but out of a desire to know Him better in order to love Him more to give Him glory. Period! Then, we will see His signs that we may miss otherwise, that in turn give us more faith (it is a gift but needs to be understood and received with our cooperation), and faith will unleash the work of the Holy Spirit, according to St. Hilary…My question is: Are we full of signs everywhere, and lately, just getting up we hear news of more things that seem impossible to happen in this U.S.A., and are we ignoring those signs? What about if our Lord is sending them in all kinds of forms in order to shock us into praying more, into changing our life of opinions and discussion, into a life of radical holiness? What about it? To be holy is not our job… Our job is to obey the will of God for Him to makes us holy… And obeying the will of God implies that we love in all circumstances, regardless, and that we are happy wherever we are, in whatever state of life, with whatever crosses… and we never look around to see what others are doing…

Every place I go I see this call to holiness… since Vatican II meetings of the early 60’s. Did we miss this call? Are we truly working hard at it? Can we move this call from the discussion table to daily living?  In the future, can we stop writing books about what to do or to repeat what Saints said or not, and write books with great detail on how each of us is being inducted into the hall of fame of discipleship? We need “witnesses” said one of our Popes (I believe Paul VI). Do we have what it takes to answer these horrible changes in our religious freedom with our own radical life that believes and lives the Gospel?

A few days ago, I was severely scolded by the Holy Ghost when I showed Him my sadness about lukewarmness in our Church… He sent me to look certain page in the Bible and it was Ezekiel 34… There, I was reminded that I have a Shepherd and that He will take care of me and of His Church. I have only to love everyone where they are at, not changed. The second most important commandment has to be unconditional, since I love myself unconditionally… It is interesting that on March 7th, feast of the martyrs of the Roman Empire in the year 201, Saint Perpetua and Felicity, I read that they did not even feel the hurt of the lions eating them… Of course, they had a Shepherd… and Who extracted the pain out of the ordeal…

Conclusion: this is another long dissertation and I hate them… Your time is valuable and the translation into Spanish becomes a little long for me… But if I cut any of the points, I could not make a case and try to convince you that He sends signs to all of us and constantlyHIS MERCY IS simply a dream… I only have to obey His will day and night in order not to get distracted and miss those signs drowned in my own egocentricity… The signs build my faith, and my faith builds my prayer life and the embracing of each cross as a gift, because all crosses are signs of future blessings… plus it unleashes the work of the Holy Ghost in my soul.  Just reviewing all the signs he has sent me through the years that have conserved my memory and alerted me as to how to protect it, gives me hope that somehow, my being sent to pray for a new Pentecost for all priests under my beloved St. Joseph, will sure happen and soon…

My next blog will be next weekend, after the feast of St. Joseph and completion of his novena, and this if I do not end up having surgery for my gallbladder… If so, my son will write a note updating my situation.  I suspect that by then I will have for sure a convicting knowledge if I should continue blogging… Who knows if I should not be preachy as above? I only know that I cannot blame anybody in my Church for my lack of holiness… I can only blame myself for not doing what she has taught me through the Words of her Founder, the Christ, and given me the tools as well (The Sacraments) to help me out… Please, pray for me for my decision if to proceed with surgery, where in the U.S. and how soon! Thanks. I need a big SIGN… Huh!


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