Now here’s something I didn’t expect to see. This is a picture shot through the studio window of WEZE in Boston back in 1993. I’m facing the camera. That’s Gerry Matatics’ back. The host’s name was Janeane Graph or Grath or something like that. This was the very day I referred to in my book, Mary: Another Redeemer? in these words:
It caught my eyea small booklet, tucked in the fold of a chair in the corner. I normally wouldn’t have seen it, but it was sticking out just enough to be seen. I picked it up. The blue-and-white cover bore the title, Devotions in Honor of Our Mother of Perpetual Help. I thumbed through the booklet, scanning a few of the prayers it contained. My eyes caught a line about my eternal salvation, so I backed up and started from the beginning:
O Mother of Perpetual Help, thou artthe dispenser of all the goods which God grants to us miserable sinners, and for this reason he has made thee so powerful, so rich, and so bountiful, that thou mayest help us in our misery. Thou art the advocate of the most wretched and abandoned sinnerswho have recourse to thee. Come then, to my help, dearest Mother, for I recommend myself to thee. In thy hands I place my eternal salvation and to thee do I entrust my soul. Count me among thy most devoted servants; take me under thy protection, and it isenough for me. For, if thou protect me, dear Mother, I fear nothing; not from my sins, because thou wilt obtain for me the pardon of them; nor from the devils, because thou are more powerful than all hell together; nor even from Jesus, my Judge himself, because by one prayer from thee he will be appeased. But one thing I fear, that in the hour of temptation I may neglect to call on thee and thus perish miserably. Obtain for me, then, the pardon of my sins, love for Jesus, final perseverance, and the grace always to have recourse to thee, O Mother of Perpetual Help.
At first I could not believe what I had just read. So I ran back through the last few lines. Was this prayer really saying that the petitioner did not fear his or her sins, the devils, and Jesus?? Thats what it said. I shook my head in disbelief.
A few years later I found myself in a radio studio in Boston, Massachusetts, doing a radio discussionwith a former Protestant turned Roman Catholic named Gerry Matatics. The topic was Mary and the saints. Mr. Matatics and I were scheduled to do two public debates at Boston College over the course of the next week. But today we were live on the air taking calls on the subject of prayers to Mary and the saints. As I packed for the trip I found the little blue and white booklet and decided to bring it along. Now I reached into my bag and brought it out. Surely quoting this prayer would bring a strong reaction from Mr. Matatics. Surely hed deny that such a prayer is proper, and that the people who had written it were just going overboard in their piety. The talk show host involuntarily gasped as I read the final lines, and as I put down the booklet I looked across at my opponent, waiting for the expected reaction. The host, likewise, turned to Mr. Matatics. He was quiet for a moment, and then spoke. “Mr. White,” he began, “I can only hope that someday you, too, will pray that prayer.”
Now here is a shot from the debates at Boston College that followed. 1993, I remember it well. Now, I’ve mentioned a few times what happened after this. We had intended to be back on WEZE, but were told that the program had been canceled. So, a few days later, we are driving around out in Southbridge, MA, and we turn on the radio. We could barely hear it, but we hear the same program, and Matatics is on, and they are wondering where I am! So we flew back home (I was staying with George and Aline Bonneau) and I called in and we did the rest of the program over the phone. I sat on a bed and spread out my Bible and some books in front of me. Here’s the actual scene from more than thirteen years ago:
So, this was the program where I threw out “the White Question” as it has become known. I asked Gerry, “So, Gerry, if you are correct, then how did a believing Jew living fifty years before Christ know that Isaiah and 2 Chronicles were Scripture?” I recall the incident very clearly, but did not know that the Bonneau’s had taken any pictures of it as it happened! Well, like I said, what interesting things you find in boxes as you move (or, in my case, are finally getting everything to your new office and trying to find a place for it).