Praying for Miracles


As Jesus was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a sizable crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind man, the son of Timaeus, sat by the roadside begging. On hearing that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, son of David, have pity on me.”

And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he kept calling out all the more, “Son of David, have pity on me.”

…Jesus told him, “Go your way; your faith has saved you.”

Immediately he received his sight… (Luke 10:46-49, 52)

This is what happened when the Lord Jesus was leaving Jericho. In two and a half weeks, I will be entering Jericho myself.

The blind man had the sense to cry out to the Lord, “Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me.” The blind man persevered and kept calling for help even when they tried to make him stop.

We pilgrims are going to the Holy Land to cry out like Bartimaeus, to beg the Lord to have pity on us, to ask God to do good things for us and help us.

maerati(If you have any particular intention for which you would especially like me to pray, write it down on in the comment box, and I will carry it with me to Israel.)

Bartimaeus had the faith and the courage to ask the Lord for what he wanted. He wanted to see—which is a reasonable enough thing to want. Most of us take it for granted. It’s not like Bartimaeus was asking for something extravagant, like an Xbox or a Maserati.

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“one continuous, unrelenting, almost delirious moment”

menckenH.L. Mencken’s first book of memoirs chronicles his halcyon years as a “cub reporter,” before he was burdened by editorial and administrative responsibility.

From the book’s preface:

The narrative has principally to do with my days as a reporter, when I was young, goatish and full of an innocent delight in the world. My adventures in that character, save maybe in one or two details, were hardly extraordinary; on the contrary they seem to me now, looking back upon them nostalgically, to have been marked by an excess of normalcy. Nevertheless, they had their moments—in fact, they were made up, subjectively, of one continuous, unrelenting, almost delirious moment—and when I revive them now it is mainly to remind myself and inform historians that a newspaper reporter, in those remote days, had a grand and gaudy time of it, and no call to envy any man.

For my part, being a man of the cloth, I do what I can to keep my own goatishness in check.

That said, these words of Mencken’s plucked a chord for me. This week I say farewell to the lovely life of a parochial vicar–also known as a curate or “associate” or “assistant.”

Six years of priesthood have passed in an unrelenting, delirious moment. Their excess of normalcy has made them all the more delightful. I have had no call to envy any man.

May God be praised. Thank you Father Finch, Msgr. Laczko, Msgr. Hughes, and Fr. Foley (the poor men who had to endure me as their vicar). Pray for me, please!