Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Hope Deferred ~ St. Gerard Story Part iv

Twice he had applied for admission to the Capuchin monastery at Muro. But a glance at his sunken chest and thin white hands, and the Capuchins turned him down. Candidly, they told him, he had not the health nor stamina for so strenuous a life. Perhaps he should go off into the hills to live as a hermit in seclusion and holy meditation! He tried it but his confessor firmly forbade it. So Gerard went back to his needles and tape. He understood that a man can achieve holiness in any walk of life, in the faithful discharge of his duties. If it were God’s will that he be a tailor, then he would be a good one.
And God showed evident approval. The whole countryside spoke openly of his supernatural powers. Had he not cured little Amata Giuliani! The little girl had tumbled into a vat of boiling water and for all the medications of oil and wax, the child whimpered in her mother’s arms all day. As Gerard was passing the house he heard the child and went in. “It is nothing,” he said, laying his hand on the scalded skin. Suddenly, little Amata Giuliani was smiling. The next morning all trace of the burn was gone.

Walking down a side street of Muro another day, Gerard noticed a new house abuilding. Work was at a standstill. The carpenters stood awkwardly by while the foreman ran his fingers through his hair in a helpless rage. The rafters had been sawed too short. “Pull them with ropes,” suggested the onlooker. Practical men though they were, they took the suggestion. The rafters fitted snugly from wall to wall, and work was resumed.

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