Enduring Impact

Enduring Impact

The unexplained healing of an inoperable brain aneurysm saved the life of a devout Costa Rican woman and was the proximate cause of the canonization of Pope John Paul II. Deflecting the fame she has attracted, 50-year-old Floribeth Mora Diaz said, “I am here because God decided to write a story with my life.”

That story took a mysterious turn during preparations for the celebration of the new saint in northern Italy when a 21-year-old pilgrim was crushed to death by a giant wooden cross carved to honor the pontiff’s visit to Lombardy in 1998. In place since 2005 and anchored with cables, the image came loose when a group of young people were gathered for lunch just beneath it. Hearing the noises, they ran. “Unfortunately Marco [Gusmini] ran in the wrong direction,” said the local mayor.

Life is always sending us mixed messages. We all have had moments when it seemed we had an angel on our shoulder, guiding us or preventing some catastrophe. Yet, we all have also made bad choices and walked right into at least one disaster.

When a metaphorical bottle washes up on our cosmic shore, it may be that we are simply not wise enough to read the message inside. Perhaps there is no message inside.

In that case, we can at least take comfort in realizing that someone put the bottle there. We may have to leave it to wiser souls or future generations to explain its meaning.

Image courtesy of federico stavanin, freedigitalphotos.net.


About the Author

Kathleen M. Carroll is the managing editor for the book department at Franciscan Media. She loves reading, gardening, animals, babies, baby animals, and extreme recycling. She is the stay-away-from-home mother to four really good-looking children. And no, she will not read your manuscript.