by Ken Rolheiser
St Anthony on line and weeping for miracles

We live our lives against an infinite horizon, never far from the spirituality all around us. 
The sun was setting and I was getting stressed. I had lost my cell phone today. I carefully re-checked the garage I had cleaned, the lawn I had cut. I went to the garbage dump and moved a pile of shingles that covered the spot where I had unloaded stuff earlier. The wind blew dust in my eyes.

It was time to reconnoiter. I had prayed to St Anthony and trusted in his direction. As I recounted the day’s events, I remember hooking up the trailer in the back alley. I had the phone when I drove back there in the car. Sometime during the day a hole ripped through the bottom of the rear pocket of my pants.

As I thought about it, I realized the Apple iPhone might have a locator. I got on line and sure enough, the map showed me where I was, and where my phone was - somewhere in the Coop lot across the back alley. I was almost ready to trust science and the saints. 

Morning came and I checked with the Weaving and Manufacturing building across the back alley to see if the phone had been turned in there. Nothing! After 9:00 a.m. I went to the Coop and sure enough, it had been turned in. I left a reward for the generous soul who returned it and who was well known by the cashier, and thanking St Anthony, I was on my way.

St Anthony works without the computer as well. I recall the Mystery of the Passion of Christ play video rehearsal in Winnipeg a few years ago. I had misplaced my bag of money, Strange thing for Judas to do, I know. I was desperate and out of time. I focused. Where did I last have it? 

Retracing my steps to the starting point, I looked about and there it was! Grateful as was for relocating my phone, I realized that this was not the event of the week that garnered my greatest attitude adjustment. 

The story is related about a 93 year old man in Italy who was asked to pay for a ventilator for one day. When the old man cried. the doctor advised him not to cry. What the old man said made all the doctors cry.

"I don't cry because of the money I have to pay. I can pay all the money,” he said. “I cry because I have been breathing God's air for 93 years, but I never pay for it. It takes €500 to use a ventilator in a hospital for one day. Do you know how much I owe God? I didn't thank God for that before.” 

Now that is worth reflecting on. How many years have we breathed freely, without pain or illness? The hospital ventilator makes us think. 

When the peace of Christ rules in our hearts, thankfulness overflows. Even in the darkest of times, we can praise God for his love, his sovereignty, and his promise to be near us when we call from the heart. (Psalm 145:18).

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7).

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