By Oswald Sobrino, J.D.; M.A. (Econ.); M.A. (Theo.); M.L. (Master of Latin), doctoral student, University of Florida.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

You Interpret It

See full size image

The "it" is that on Thursday, May 20, 2010, I was attending Eucharistic Adoration at my local parish church (a regular, not charismatic, parish). The adoration was combined with a healing service. I attended with my fourteen-year-old son. While kneeling after the Benediction, I glanced to the right at my son.  (Note for non-Catholics: the Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament is the blessing given by the priest while holding the monstrance--often an ornate, golden cross and/or "sunburst" with the circular Eucharistic host or wafer exhibited in the center of the ornate cross in a small, round glass circle.)

I glanced to the right at my son and saw the following. His pupils rolled upward, and he promptly toppled unconscious at the pew while kneeling, as usual, on the cushioned kneeler;  he toppled like a sack of potatoes. I promptly awakened him and took him outside. Nothing was amiss. He has no history of such events whatsoever. He was not sick or ill at the time-- before, during, or after. He is not an epileptic.

Then I remembered that a year or so ago I had seen something similar at a healing service at a Catholic church in a Detroit suburb (I went alone; no one from my family was with me). When the people at this other church were blessed with the monstrance containing the Eucharistic wafer, some people just fell down and laid there. Catholics call this "sleeping in the Spirit," and many understand it as a form of quiet healing by the Lord.

My personal, private interpretation of what happened to my son: the same thing. Let me add that, unlike me, my son has never seen this toppling happen to others in Eucharistic Adoration (athough years ago, I think that he was present at a prayer meeting where this happened outside of Eucharistic Adoration, but I believe that he did not even notice it then in the very crowded prayer meeting; and I do know that he did not give it any significance whatsoever). And certainly he has never thought about any such thing happening to himself. His pure innocence concerning this phenomena makes it absolutely and conclusively clear to me that he was not faking the experience or seeking or desiring it in any way. He was not predisposed to having this experience occur. In addition, my view is that his upward roll of the eyeballs and instantaneous, abrupt toppling, with no attempt at self-protection, was not faked.

By the way, this "sleeping in the Spirit" has never happened to me--and I am not seeking it for myself. But, of course, as is appropriate, you are free to draw your own conclusions from this eyewitness report. Make of it what you wish. I have no personal agenda at stake. I report, you decide. By the way, Happy Pentecost!