In late August of 2005 the largest and third strongest hurricane made landfall in the United States. Mother Nature and her demonic daughter Katrina ravaged 90,000 square miles, bringing with them winds clocking in at 175 miles per hour. The storm surge was 20-feet high. The final death toll was 1,836 people, mostly from Louisiana, and 238 from Mississippi. Among the survivors were Diann, and her daughter Tayler, and their dog Angel.
Diann’s home was completely destroyed, submerged under nine and a half feet of water. The water remained in her house for over three weeks. For the first three weeks after Katrina, Diann, her daughter Tayler and their dog Angel evacuated and stayed with family in Alabama. From their they evacuated to Santa Fe, New Mexico to stay with her Nanaine (French for “godmother”). For nine months Santa Fe became their home. Diann had to make two trips back to New Orleans to take care of personal business matters. She needed to apply for a federal grant to rebuild her home and fill out the proper forms for a FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) trailer. Once she got clearance for the trailer they moved back home. The FEMA trailer was parked in her driveway during the restoration of her house.
The Holy Encounter
Diann, a single mother, was so devastated; all that was left for her to do was pray. Diann visits the Eucharistic Adoration chapel at her local parish on a regular basis. The chapel also sustained a lot of water damage, and because of this the paint was scaling off the statue of Mary. After Katrina, Diann visited the chapel for private prayer. She was sitting and praying for 15 minutes when she looked at the statue of Mary and in tears said, “I’m lost, I don’t know what to do, I need help!” She suddenly heard a distinct, soft voice saying, “Make me pretty again.” Diann looked around the chapel to investigate where the voice was coming from, but discovered that she was the only one in the prayer room. Diann thought that she was losing her mind when again the soft voice repeated, “Make me pretty again.” Diann answered, “Mother Mary, are you speaking to me?” And then for the third time she heard “Make me pretty again.” Diann prayed, “Mother Mary, I really don’t know what to do. What would you like me to do?” Then Diann heard “Michael, Michael, Michael.” She stayed in the chapel for a few more minutes, puzzled with the message. She realized that this was a holy encounter and was elevated to a new spiritual realm. She left the chapel with a heavy heart. Her mind was fixated on the holy encounter, but she did not understand what Mother Mary meant by the name Michael. She kept repeating it in her head, “Michael, Michael, Michael.” Then she received a revelation, “Three Michaels! Oh! Michael’s, the craft store!” She did not waste any time and drove to Michael’s. She approached an employee and asked where she could find supplies to paint religious statues. Diann purchased paint for eight dollars and went home.
Diann knew that she needed special permission to complete this commission from God. She contacted the president of the men’s group at the parish for a directive. His response was, “Have you ever painted before?” Diann’s honest answer was, “No sir.” He then explained that he needed to check with the pastor. Through the providence of God, she received permission. She had no idea what she was up against, but she was obedient to the words spoken to her.
Doing Work Unto The Lord
The statue of Mary was moved to a back room. Diann was talking to Mary, as she always does, and was finished. The original color of the cloak was slate gray. She thought to herself that the color was too dark; then she heard, “Blue.” She responded, “Oh, I can do blue highlights!” She completed her work through much prayer. She then moved on by touching up the crucifix, painting Jesus’ legs, Chest, the Crown of Thorns. Then she added gold highlights to His hair.
Diann had already experienced being taken advantage of by two unscrupulous out-of-town contractors; she lost $14,000 by trusting strangers with her property. Within a week after she had completed repainting Mary and the Crucifix, she was approved for a $150,000 grant through the program “Road Home.” This program was established by President Bush to help those affected by Hurricane Katrina get their lives back to a state of normality. The special blessing was that this grant money was the largest amount available. Not everyone received this compensation.
With the help of Catholic Charities, volunteers from Kansas City and California came to her rescue. These kind people removed all the mold and stripped the house until only the original studs were left of her New Orleans Colonial Cottage. It took three days to get the work completed, but Diann’s beautiful 100-year-old floors were warped. It took her a year to find an honest contractor. after all that time the floors dried out, and the original one-and-a-half inch antique heart pine floors were saved. Just one more added blessing!
Diann was overwhelmed with these blessings and she wanted to give back. She drove around her neighborhood and started to restore religious statues. Using the table in her FEMA trailer, she lovingly restored these religious statues. She has since restored more than 60 statues; her artistry is offered as a gift to the homeowners.
At the Last Supper Jesus instituted the Eucharist as His body and blood.
Catholics practice Eucharistic Adoration to draw closer to Jesus. Where Jesus is, Mary is also there. Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit, but our Lord received his flesh from Mary. because he was born of Mary His outward appearance resembled hers. Mary was immaculately conceived; she could not have any stain of original sin because she was divinely chosen to be the Mother of God. She has been compared to the Ark of the Covenant, carrying Jesus in her womb because God was within her.
Eucharistic Adoration draws you closer to Jesus, the Lord is doing something through this non verbal communication: He is reaching out to us. The fruit of Eucharistic Adoration gives you peace; you become more like Jesus.
My Prayer: Dear Lord, may we all learn to adore You, especially during Christmas. O Come Let Us Adore Him, Christ our Lord! Amen.