Monday, December 10, 2012

The Origin of St. Augustine

                                The Origin of St. Augustine

          Father O’Malley was sixty-four years old and an ordain priest for nearly forty of them. He was by all accounts known as a godly man to his parishes. He loved to visit the sick and on most days, you could find him at the local hospital or at the home of an ill church member. Margret was fifty-eight when she was diagnose with breast cancer. Her daughter Meg had put her life on hold, moved in with Margret to attend to her needs. Once a week Meg would take her mother for her chemo therapy, and then watched over her, painfully as the chemicals made her greatly ill for days. On one of his visits Father O’Malley brought Margret a figure of St. Augustine and advised her to daily pay homage to the statue for her healing. Meg found it strange but in order to keep the peace, she remained quiet. After six month of therapy Margret’s cancer had went into remission. Meg was thankful to God for her mother’s new prognosis, while her mother continues to pay homage to the saint. Meg knew if that figure had any power what so ever, her mother would not have suffered all the therapy. She believed that God could have just healed her mother, but she also believed that God has given doctors the knowledge to help heal our bodies.
          Joseph had been bed ridden for over six months when father O’Malley had delivered him a duplicate of the patriot saint. The priest loved his beloved healer and found joy every time he gave one away. He would have them ship right from the Vatican and believed they were blessed. Joseph was a devout catholic and had raised his daughter in his belief. Paula was fourteen and always had a mind of her own. For the pass year while her father was unable to attend mass, she had begun to go to church with a protestant friend and her family. On Sundays her father assumed that she was being faithful to his believes and her upbringing. Paula had learned in her eight months of visiting New Hope Christian Church, that Jesus is the only one that can heal the sick. As much as she wanted to tell her father of this new found faith, she was afraid he would retaliate by not letting her out on Sundays. Every night she prayed that God would give her a miracle and heal the father she deeply loves. One Wednesday after school she arrived home to find father O’Malley sitting at her father’s bedside. The two casually sat talking about the healing power of the statue. “Have you been praying to him daily Joseph” she heard the priest say. “I try to father” replied Joseph in a weak voice, “but it doesn’t seem to help, and I fear soon I will leave Paula with no one to fend for her” The thought of leaving her alone broke his heart into pieces, she was his whole world. He had wanted a son to call Paul after the apostle and saint, but when his wife died giving birth, he named her Paula and never regretted. Paula walked into her father’s room and greeted him with a kiss, then turned and shook hands with the priest. “I have not seen you at church in month’s child” said the priest looking straight at her. Paula froze as she met her father’s eyes who looked at her with questions about her Sunday outings. “Well father, I have been going to a different church” Paula replied a little nervous about the reaction of both men. “And what church might that be?” asked the priest as he leaned forward waiting for her answer. “Protestant, a Christian church” she replied with a little more boldness in her tone. “One who teaches that Jesus is the only healer, and not some saint made of clay” Paula had always been out spoken but also polite; which took her father by surprise. “Paula, have a little more respect for our priest” her father said in a weak voice. “Sorry” she said looking at her father.  “I just no longer believe in some of the things he has taught us, like the statue of a saint that has sat here for what, six or eight months and you keep getting worst.” She finishes her statement looking straight at father O’Malley’s eyes.  “You must have faith child and the saints will do what they were created for” the priest spoke as he stood and looked at Paula. She turned around and picking up the statue; she faced the priest and replied, “I don’t believe this thing can heal any one or even save itself” Without meaning the statue slipped from her fingers and crashed onto the floor with a loud thump and shattered into pieces. The room became silent to the point that you could hear a pin drop. Paula reaches down and picked up the only sizable piece left and stared at it. The priest looked at her with his face red as a tomato, anger in his voice and speaking directly at her said, “we have a problem child” With a smile on her face and a little sarcasm in her words, Paula replied, “the only problem is, poor little St. Augustine here,  was made in China.”

“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
“You shall have no other gods before Me.
“You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me,

 Exodus 20:2-4

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