Blessings in Disguise


A Three Minute Play by Nick Meglin

CHARACTERS:


     Father Marini -- A Catholic Priest, 45

        Dr. Cabot -- His friend, a doctor, 35

     Sandra -- A prostitute, 25 - 35



TIME:  The present


SET:  A modest sitting room in a church sacristy, two     

      chairs, a small desk are at center stage  



(FATHER MARINI paces as he engages HIS friend, DR. CABOT, in serious discussion.  MARINI has a slight but noticeable limp, wincing from an occasional spasm caused by HIS back condition)


MARINI

...and each one shows no signs of their former afflictions?


CABOT

None.  Total cure.


MARINI

And you inquired discreetly?  


CABOT

Please, Father Marini.  I know what we’re dealing with here.  I left not a crumb, nothing that would seem even slightly out of the realm of your average, typical medical exchanges between doctors.  


MARINI

And you’re sure that no one...


CABOT

Doctors, as you have reminded me only too often, don’t travel the religious avenues of approach to medicine.  We leave the praying to you, preferring to write prescriptions, cut and stitch, and enjoy our beautiful homes in the suburbs.  Shall I bring her in?


MARINI

Yes, and tell her there’s nothing to be afraid of.


(CABOT leaves and soon returns with SANDRA)


CABOT

This is Sandra, Father Marini.


MARINI

Please sit, my child.

(SANDRA does so as CABOT starts to exit)  

No, please stay, Dr. Cabot.


CABOT

If you wish.


MARINI

Sandra, do you have anything to say that will help me... us... understand your situation.


SANDRA

Who’s “us?”


               MARINI (Assuringly)

Just myself and Dr. Cabot.


SANDRA

Didn’t he tell you what happens?


(CABOT nods affirmatively)


MARINI

Yes, but I’m sure you realize that all of this is beyond... these healings are not... (Winces) anything that can be filed away in some folder and labeled “Over-the-top Miracles.”  


SANDRA

In almost every sermon Pastor Hughes delivered he would say, “God works in mysterious ways.”  


               MARINI (Crosses himself reverently)

That he did, bless his soul.  I didn’t know you were such a faithful churchgoer.


               SANDRA (Insulted)

Because I’m a hooker?  

(SHE looks to CABOT, starts to exit)  

I knew this wasn’t a good idea, Dr. Cabot.


CABOT

Don’t leave.  Father Marini is the only one who can help you, Sandra.  


MARINI

I’m sorry.  Please...


SANDRA

Just don’t be so quick to throw stones, okay?


MARINI

Well stated.  You asked to be placed in a secretarial position at a small parish in New Mexico.


SANDRA

Yes, Saint Bernadette’s.  I feel that I was chosen to serve, in some way or another.  I can begin a new life.  Nobody will know me there, know what I’ve done.  All I want is something like that FBI witness protection thing.


MARINI

I’m very grateful for this sacrifice you’re making.  I’m sure I can arrange something with the diocese in that area without disclosing... Dr. Cabot?  


CABOT

Yes, I can offer some medical recommendation for climate or whatever.  I just wish I didn’t feel that we were righting a wrong.  All she did was heal a few sick people.  Where’s the sin in that?  


MARINI

The healing isn’t, but the way in which the healing is performed leaves no room for argumentation, my friend.  Fornication for purposes other than procreation is an act that, miracle healing or not, the Vatican will never recognize as heavenly blessed.


SANDRA

There will be no more miracles, Father, I promise.


MARINI

I believe you, Sandra.  And I will...(Winces) ...pray for you at every Mass I serve.


SANDRA

Before I go... Doctor Cabot, can you give me a minute with Father Marini?


CABOT

Of course.  (HE exits)  I’ll wait for you downstairs.  


SANDRA

If you want, Father, I can fix your bad back.



         (BLACKOUT)



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