Life is incredible because it is in the hands
of a God who is incredible. When I was superior
of the Discalced Carmelites of Malta, I visited
Taiwan various times because we had three
young Maltese Carmelites who were working
towards the foundation of the first ever
Chinese Carmelite convent.
There I witnessed miracles. In 1954
Carmelite Sisters from Santa Clara,
had crossed the Pacific by boat to
They were asked to start the Carmelite
The situation at the moment was politically
explosive. The communists had gained
control of mainland China. All Catholic
and nuns had been expelled. North Vietnam
also had fallen to the communist regime.
Everyone predicted that Taiwan will
be taken by the reds. But love knows
to risk! "If it is God's will
go to Taiwan, we shall go," were
only comments of the Montana-born Mother
Teresa who led this small nucleus of
The moment they arrived, they immediately
started to think of building a monastery!
Everyone thought that this was a reckless
decision. Their pockets were empty.
pockets of God were full. And so relying
on Him, they went ahead. Problems were
Yet, on the eve of Christmas 1957 the
moved into their new monastery. A very
place built in pure Chinese style.
Fifteen years later, disaster. In 1973,
authorities gave permission for a wholesale
market to be built adjacent to the
The noise became unbearable… buzz of
crowds, screeching and honking of trucks,
pervading and foul-smelling odor of
of food; a movie theater just across
road that used loudspeakers to attract
A real racket that made prayerful life
But God did it again! First He puts
a tight corner from where you cannot
escape and then nonchalantly He intervenes!
I know. He does it to me also!
One day, a recently-converted constructor
came to speak with the superior, Mother
Just before leaving, he asked casually
they needed any kind of help. "Well,
yes in fact we do! We need a new monastery!
But we do not have one dollar!"
man quietly thought for a moment and
just said, "Mother, let me first
the property and then we shall discuss."
He disappeared for two months. When
he just said two sentences, "I
the property. Please come and see…"
A half hour drive and they found themselves
in front a spacious piece of flat land
a chain of mountains in the distance
filled with the beautiful music of
It was agreed that this friend would
the land, build a monastery following
specifications of the Sisters and as
they would hand over the old monastery
will be transformed into apartments.
However, enormous opposition was raised
many thought that this 'friend' was
a manipulative business man who was
taking advantage of a situation to
coffers. It was a difficult moment
Sisters, seeing such a generous friend
slandered so harshly.
Again, going against the 'good advice'
'prudent' people, the Sisters decided
continue. A year and a half later the
was completed! Not one single dollar
Even more… the profit that this friend
through the building of the apartments
lieu of the old monastery, he deposited
an account for the day-to-day maintenance
of their new building… Miracle two
Ten years later, another attack from
evil one! A red flag appeared just
their property and an official notification
was attached to the enclosure wall
it will occupy a part of the sisters'
The state had decided to build a highway
just beside the monastery!
The Sisters were alarmed. What could
possibly do? After some discussions,
reached a unanimous decision to follow
St Teresa's example and organize a
This is what Saint Teresa did when
with an insoluble problem. And the
Thus, beginning next day, as soon they
morning prayers, they put on their
mantles and with a crucifix leading
they processed by that enclosure which
threatened to be taken from them, chanting
the litany of the Name of Jesus. Adding
emphasis an invocation of their own:
disaster of the freeway, Jesus deliver
After full ninety days of daily procession…
The red flag disappeared. The notification
on the wall was taken away. The freeway
to another place! Miracle four.
Perhaps what Madame Chiang Kai-Shek,
wife of the President of Taiwan wrote,
everything. "I had never met you
she wrote to the Sisters after her
visit, "and yet there was something
hauntingly familiar about you… Seeing
calm radiance of your faces reminded
a line from Tennyson describing the
seated around the Round Table, when
Arthur appeared in their midst: 'I
From eye to eye thr' all their Order
A momentary likeness of their King.'
I had the secret!"
WE also can become like the King and
share in His power to do miracles!
PS. Today is the feast of Saint Teresa, the
Spanish mystic who founded the Carmelites.
(c) Fr. Pius Sammut, OCD. Permission
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