Saturday, May 04, 2013

Leo High School is Lourdes? No, but it will do: The Miles Turner Miracle

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Miles Turner's heroic battle against five bullets is nothing short of miraculous.  Miracles are scoffed at, just as they were in secularist France in the mid-18th Century when a peasant girl brought miraculous water to millions of physically afflicted people at Lourdes.

Cardinal George is in Lourdes.  Cardinal George is a very significant presence at Leo High School in the Gresham neighborhood.Cardinal George Visits Leo

It always seems that whenever Cardinal George is out of Chicago on the business of the three million Catholics of this city, the moral and political pygmies take the opportunity to insult, offend, or disrupt the work of the Archbishop of Chicago.  Once Francis Cardinal George boarded the plane for the sacred shrine in France, the Tribune's pencil-necked Progressive sucker-puncher Eric Zorn rolled out a series of insulting, flawed and cowardly screeds leveled at the Cardinal's objection to Mayor Rahm's punitive tax on church institutional water.   At the same time before the City Club of Chicago, Emanuel's City Council Floor Leader Alderman Pat O'Connor went all Vidkun Quisling on the Faith of His Fathers.

Mayor's floor leader blasts Catholic Church over water squabble
5/3/2013 7:30:00 PM
By FRAN SPIELMAN -Chicago Sun Times
Mayor Rahm Emanuel's City Council floor leader lashed out at the Catholic Church on Wednesday for rejecting the mayor's compromise offer on water fees for nonprofits even after, the alderman claimed, failing to clean its own house on the priest sex abuse scandal."They're clearly not owning up to the fact that there are people out there damaged by the church and they're talking about free water. Really?" said Ald. Pat O'Connor (40th).
Describing himself as "a Catholic, not a happy one these days," O'Connor said, "The church has so many internal problems, they ought to satisfy their own problems and they ought to address the things that are in the paper every day and stop talking about free water. Quit saying that they handled things right in the past or . . . or, even worse, saying mistakes were made in the past, but they're not correcting those mistakes."
Earlier this week, Cardinal Francis George jumped into the controversy caused by Emanuel's decision to cut off the free water spigot to struggling churches and nonprofits that provide a safety net of social services to needy Chicagoans.
The cardinal appeared at a news conference called by an "inter-faith coalition" of religious leaders to reject the mayor's offer to restore the free water perk to groups with assets under $1 million.
The cardinal called the lake a "gift from God" and said maybe "we should start charging the city for water" - not the other way around.
Water - a source of revenue for spendthrift city.  Water - a sign of the miraculous.

It all depends on which side of history, one takes the vantage point to see something.

Miles is afflicted with bullets from a gang-bangers gun; Cardinal George is afflicted not only with the intrusion of cancer, but a cultural and political class of  bigots who hide behind the same altar of science as secular inquistors who challenged the faith of the French peasant girl Bernadette's faith and blocked the miraculous waters of Lourdes . . .for a time, anyway.
 A Medical Bureau was established in 1882 to test the authenticity of the cures. The doctors include unbelievers as well as believers and any doctor is welcome to take part in the examination of the alleged cures. As many as 500 medical men of all faiths or no faith have taken advantage of the invitation each year. Many books and movies tell the story of Lourdes. Even Hollywood made a movie of this remarkable event in the 1940's entitled "The Song of Bernadette" which won six academy awards.
Today, Hollywood gives religion and the Catholic faith in particular very short shrift. Miracles are now called health policy by the secular Believe Nothings. Miles Turner stood again because his family believe.

Miles Turner was prayed for not only by his wonderful parents and family, but also the Cardinal and the extended Leo High School family.  Alumni called about Miles everyday and asked how they might help the family.  Most importantly, Miles was lifted out of his many recovery beds by skilled physicians, technicians, therapists, teachers and Dan McGrath, President of Leo High School and football coach and surrogate father of hundreds Mike Holmes.

Dan and Mike stood with Miles and his family nearly everyday from the time the young man was shot. I have never been more proud of human beings.

Dan and Mike joined the Turner family is moistening Miles' lips and throat with ice and later water.  Miles could not take liquids for months.  Christ's words from the cross, "I thirst!" were remembered. Miles was slaked with words of comfort and encouragement from the lips of Leo teachers Kristine Meany, Katy Hyland, Aurora Latifi and Bob Schablaske who tutored Miles when his strength returned.  Water and wisdom were not denied.

Cardinal George is in Lourdes, Miles went to prom and will graduate with his class.  The newspapers and TV stations that feature the Miles Turner miracle, will also mock the Cardinal and the very faith that is core of Leo High School.  It is good that those media outlets are awed by this story of personal
struggle, but is also sad that they will not consider the waters of miraculous faith that make the struggle worth the while.

The water tax is merely a punitive measure to force people of faith to go against their beliefs and become out-spoken critics, like Alderman Pat O'Connor, of the religion, the schools, the associations and institutions that made his 'personal struggle' a vacuum-packed biography and a lucrative life.

If Cardinal George had only been compelled to agree that abortion is health care and gay marriage religious liberty, churches could have all the water they could want -untaxed.

Had Miles Turner indicated with his suffering eyes the words "I Thirst" to Rahm Emanuel, or his City Council Floor Leader Pat O'Connor, his lips would have remained mighty dry.

As it is, Leo is not Lourdes, but it sure as hell will do.

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