Posted by Ronan Scully in Features.

I was at Mass one evening recently and, after it, I held on for Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and decided to look up a prayer on the Internet on my iPhone. I always enjoy the quietness of the Church during this time. After a short while looking for my favourite prayer on my iPhone, I found it and started to recite it.

It was in my mind so that I could medidate on it, when I got a sudden tap on the shoulder from other parishioners admonishing me for using my phone in the Church and that I should be ashamed of myself. I was using it as a prayerbook and showed them the prayer I had uploaded on to my phone. After they saw the prayer they apologised for their mistake and said that they would offer up their prayers for me that evening.

I was thankful for their prayers because I needed all the prayers I could get at that time! I left the Church that night thinking how sometimes we can read situations wrongly at times and accuse or point the finger at people falsely or without finding out the real truth of a situation before we make a judgement about another person. It also reminded me of the brilliant story by Texas Tyler about the Soldier and The Deck of Cards that my Dad used to tell me about when I was a young boy. I think it went as follows.

The Soldier & The Deck of Cards

A young soldier was in his bunkhouse all alone one Sunday morning. It was quiet that day, the guns and the mortars and land mines for some reason hadn’t made a noise. The young soldier knew it was Sunday, the holiest day of the week. As he was sitting there, he got out an old deck of cards and laid them out across his bunk. Just then an Army Sergeant came in and asked, “Why aren’t you with the rest of the platoon?” The soldier replied, “I thought I would stay behind and spend some time with the Lord.” “Loooks like you’re going to play cards.” The soldier said, “No sir, you see, since we are not allowed to have Bibles or other spiritual books in this country, I’ve decided to talk to the Lord by studying this deck of cards.”

The sergeant asked in disbelief, “How will you do that?” “You see the Ace, Sergeant, it reminds that there is only one God, The 2 represents the two parts of the Bible, Old and New Testaments.  The 3 represents the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.  The 4 stands for the Four Apolstles: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.  The 5 is for the five virgins, there were ten but only five of them were glorified. The 6 is for the six days it took God to create the Heavens and Earth. The 7 is for the day God rested after working the six days. The 8 is for the family of Noah and his wife, their three sons and their wives, in which God saved the eight people from the flood that destroyed the earth for the first time. The 9 is for the lepers that Jesus cleansed of leprosy. He cleansed ten but nine never thanked Him. The 10 represents the Ten Commandments that God handed down to Moses on tablets made of stone. The Jack is a reminder of Satan, one of God’s first angels, but he got kicked out of heaven for his sly and wicked ways and is now the Joker of eternal hell. The Queen stands for the Virgin Mary, The King stands for Jesus, for he is the King of kings.

When I count the dots on all the cards, I come up with 365 total, one for every day of the week. There are of 52 cards in a deck, each is a week, 52 weeks in a year. The four suits represents the four seasons: Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. Each suit has thirteen cards, there are exactly thirteen weeks in a quarter. So when I want to talk to God and thank Him, I just pull out this old deck of cards and they remind me of all that I have to be thankful for.”

The sergeant just stood there and after a minute, with tears in his eyes and pain in his heart, he said “Soldier, can I borrow that deck of cards?”

Thought for the Week

As your Thought for the Week, never judge anyone until you know the real truth of the situation and even then always try and keep custody of your tongue, thoughts and judgements.