Recently the “Dear Abby” column included a letter from a woman who spoke of inexplicably finding a penny in the finger of a glove. The woman interpreted it as a sign that her deceased mother was with her. As Catholics we believe that our beloved dead still exist in another dimension. Ordinarily we have no contact with them, but occasionally they seem to break through from “the other side.” An editor once confided that one morning shortly after her husband died, she distinctly felt him kiss her forehead. As a boy, my nephew saw a recently deceased neighbor woman walking down the sidewalk. A few years ago our pastor at St. Dominic shared a parishioner’s experience:
The woman missed her deceased mother and father very much. She wondered if they really still were somewhere, or if the whole notion of an afterlife were just wishful thinking. She asked her parents to give her a sign if they existed. She asked them to let her find two pennies. That morning as she was cleaning the couch, she found two pennies and a quarter between the cushions. She reasoned that she had asked for two pennies, not 27¢. The she went to the store. At the checkout counter her bill came to $10.02. She fished in the bottom of her purse for 2¢ with no luck. The man in line behind her gave her the 2¢. She thought to herself that it didn’t count because she didn’t actually find the money. And it was just a coincidence. She went home and started to put the groceries away. As she tossed her coat off, two pennies fell out of the pocket. She said she could almost hear her mother saying, “You should have believed in the first place when I sent you 2¢ and threw in the extra quarter.”
This past year a retreatant picked up one of my books with delight. The cover happened to have a purple butterfly on it. The woman told me that she had been very close to her sister who had died. Every day since then she has seen a purple butterfly.
I have no doubt that our good God would allow these messages as a means to comfort those who grieve. They say, “Hi! I’m OK and I’m still with you.” Our relationships do not end with death. That is what the doctrine of the Communion of Saints is all about. This consoles me because soon I’ll have more friends in heaven than I do on earth.
Periodically there’s a proposal to stop minting pennies. If that happens, I hope heaven has a good supply of nickels!
Do you think occurrences like these are real or coincidence? Did anything like this ever happen to you?
PS: Found this on Facebook August 9, 2019:
A woman asked a man why he stooped to pick up a dirty penny on the ground. A smile crept across the man’s face as he reached into his pocket for the penny and held it out for her to see.
‘Look at it.’ He said. ‘Read what it says.’ She read the words ‘ United States of America ‘
‘No, not that; read further.’
‘One cent?’ ‘No, keep reading.’
‘In God we Trust?’ ‘Yes!’ ‘And?’
‘And if I trust in God, the name of God is holy, even on a coin. Whenever I find a coin, I see that inscription. It is written on every single United States coin, but we never seem to notice it! God drops a message right in front of me telling me to trust Him? Who am I to pass it by? When I see a coin, I pray, I stop to see if my trust IS in God at that moment. I pick the coin up as a response to God; that I do trust in Him. For a short time, at least, I cherish it as if it were gold. I think it is God’s way of starting a conversation with me. Lucky for me, God is patient and pennies are plentiful!