"Good morning, St. Anthony's," I answered rather groggily, fearing news of yet another funeral.
The voice on the other end asked, "Is anyone in the office yet?"
"No," I answered, with no small trace of irritation and frustration - and even a bit of anger - in my voice. "It isn't even seven o'clock."
"Okay," came the reply, and the caller hung up. Thus I expected nothing less than an absolutely miserable day, and the first few hours of the day did not disappoint this expectation, leaving me to wonder what else could go wrong in one day. But thanks be to God the day improved remarkably once I made my First Friday visits.
One of the women I visit is a dear friend and a tremendous woman of faith and prayer. As we said our goodbyes she reached to the table by her chair and handed me a small prayer book. As she did so she told me she wanted me to have it and opened it to a page with two signatures. When I read the signatures I was left quite speechless and unbelievably grateful.
The second of the signatures reads, "+ John Cardinal Cody, Archbishop of Chicago." The second reads,
"All for Jesus
M Teresa, MC"
Many years back she attended a conference at which Blessed Teresa of Calcutta spoke. She asked the then-living saint to sign her prayerbook and she did.
The day can now only get better. I will soon try to finish the first of three funeral homilies and then have the oil changed in my car before soccer practice. After soccer practice some of the players and I will go out for dinner before a long awaited party.
When I first announced my transfer, one of the senior soccer players told me he was going to have a BYODP (Bring Your Own Dr Pepper) party for me at his house and we would play Apples to Apples and other such games and have a great time. His parents consented and he is hosting it tonight; many of the high school students plan to attend as a farewell bash. It should be a hoot.