Monday, April 14, 2008


Thursday, April 3, 2008


In turn, you may post this again to your blog. Thank you.

Jim Castle was tired when he boarded his plane in Cincinnati ,
Ohio,that>night in 1981. The 45-year-old management consultant had
put on aweek-long
series of business meetings and seminars, and now he sank gratefully
into his seat ready for the flight home to Kansas City , Kansas . As
more passengers entered, the place hummed with conversation, mixed
with the sound of bags being stowed. Then, suddenly, people fell
silent. The quiet moved slowly up the aisle like an invisible wake
behind a boat. Jim craned his head to see what was happening, and
his mouth dropped open.

Walking up the aisle were two nuns clad in simple white habits
bordered in blue. He recognized the familiar face of one at once,
the wrinkled skin, the eyes warmly intent. This was a face he'd seen
in newscasts and on the cover of TIME. The two nuns halted, and Jim
realized that his seat companion was going to be Mother Teresa! As
the last few passengers settled in, Mother Teresa and her companion
pulled out rosaries. Each decade of
the beads was a different color, Jim noticed. The decades
represented various areas of the world, Mother Teresa told him
later, and added,"I pray for
the poor and dying on each continent." The airplane taxied to the
runway and the two women began to pray, their voices a low murmur.

Though Jim considered himself not a very religious Catholic who went
to church mostly out of habit, inexplicably he found himself joining
By the time they murmured the final prayer, the
plane had reached cruising altitude. Mother Teresa turned toward
him. For the first time in his
life, Jim understood what people meant when they spoke of a person
possessing an "aura". As she gazed at him, a sense of peace
him; he could no more see it than he could see the wind, but he felt
it, just as surely as he felt a warm summer breeze. "Young man,"
inquired, "do you say the
rosary often?" No, not really," he admitted. She took his hand,
while her eyes probed his. Then she smiled. "Well, you will now."

And she dropped
her rosary into his palm .An hour later Jim entered the Kansas City
airport, where he was met by his wife, Ruth. "What in the world?"

Ruth asked when she noticed the rosary in his hand.

They kissed and Jim described his encounter. Driving home, he said.
"I feel as if I met a true sister of God." Nine months later Jim
Ruth visited Connie, a friend of theirs for several years. Connie
confessed that she'd been told she had ovariancancer. "The doctor
says it's a tough case," said Connie, "but I'm going to
fight it. I
won't give up." Jim clasped her

Then, after reaching into his pocket, he gently twined Mother
Teresa's rosary around her fingers. He told her the story and said,
"Keep it with you Connie. It may help."Although Connie wasn't

Catholic, her hand closed willingly around the small plastic beads.
"Thank you," she whispered. "I hope I can return it.
"More than a
year passed before Jim saw Connie again. This time, faceglowing, she
hurried toward him and handed him the rosary "I carried it with me
all year," she said.

"I've had surgery and have been on chemotherapy, too. Last month,
the doctors did second-look surgery, and the tumor's gone.
Completely!" Her eyes met Jim's. "I knew it was time to give
rosary back." In the fall of 1987, Ruth's sister, Liz, fell into a

deep depression after her divorce. She asked Jim if she could borrow
the rosary, and when he sent it, she
hung it over her bedpost in a small velvet bag. "At night I held on
to it, just physically held on. I was so lonely and afraid," she
says, "yet when I gripped that rosary, I felt as if I held a loving
hand."Gradually, Liz
pulled her life together, and she mailed the rosary back."Someone

else may need it," she said.
Then one night in 1988, a stranger telephoned Ruth. She'd heard
about the rosary from a neighbor and asked if she could borrow it to
take to the hospital where her mother lay in a coma. The family
hoped the rosary might help their mother die peacefully. A few days
later, the woman returned the beads. "The nurses told me a coma
patient can still hear," she said, "so I explained to my mother
that I had Mother Teresa's rosary and that when I gave it to her she
could let go; it would be all rosary in her hand.
Right away, we saw her face relax. The lines smoothed out until she
looked so peaceful, so young." The woman's voice caught. "A
few minutes later she was gone." Fervently, she gripped Ruth's hands.
"Thank you." Is there special power in those humble beads? Or is
the power of the human spirit simply renewed in each person who borrows the
Jim only knows that requests continue to come often unexpectedly. He
always responds though whenever he lends the rosary. He says, "When
you're through
needing it, send it back. Someone else may need it." Jim's own
life has changed, too, since his unexpected meeting on the airplane.
When he realized Mother Teresa carries everything she owns in a
small bag, he made an effort to simplify his own life. "I try to
remember what really counts - not money or titles or possessions, but the way we
love others," he says.