My unexpected miracle healing (part one)

In the last post I wrote about my dear friend and the inner healing she received from God as she copes with Ménière’s disease.

I would now like to share my own story of healing from God, a healing I consider miraculous.

sue with classical guitar croppedSome of you may know that I was a professional singer and songwriter, focusing on songs about my faith. For many years I recorded CDs and appeared on EWTN and CatholicTV. I was blessed with the opportunity to perform at World Youth Day 2002 in Toronto. I served for thirty-seven years in various capacities of music ministry in my home parish.

I poured my heart and soul into my music. Only my faith and my family meant more.

Four years ago, only a few months after my mother died I noticed that my voice was becoming weak. It always seemed to fail when I was performing in front of a crowd. Sometimes the clear, strong sound I was accustomed to would sail out of my throat; at other times this weak and wobbly noise would come out instead. I never knew when it would happen and I cringed at the sound of it.

My voice had been rock-solid; now it was erratic.
Once totally at home in front of people, I became terrified of singing in public.

I had to put a halt to my music career. I stopped doing live performances and resigned from music ministry at my parish.

It was a difficult loss to accept and the grieving process was not unlike mourning the death of my mother.

Four years later I can claim a healing.

It was completely unexpected and not something I asked for.

from http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=28
from http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=28

It began with having my throat blessed by the priest after mass in honor of the feast of St. Blaise. St. Blaise is the patron saint of ailments of the throat; legend has it that he cured a boy who got a fishbone caught in his throat.

from www.itmonline.org
from http://www.itmonline.org

The priest takes two candles crossed together and places them on the throat while reciting a short prayer.

The line was long since the priest insisted on doing the blessings himself. It gave me time to reflect. Did I want a healing? Did I believe I could be healed? I nearly stepped out of line but decided to stay. After my throat was blessed I left the church in tears.

I had no idea what would come of it. It turned out to be far more than I ever expected.

Consider this scripture where Jesus says “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Luke 6:38 (NIV).

Consider too the story of the handful of loaves and fishes feeding five thousand from Matthew 14:13-21.

These two scripture passages set the stage for the healing I was about to receive because I left myself open to what God wanted to give.

Stay tuned …

miracle of the loaves and fishes
miracle of the loaves and fishes

Click to Tweet & Share: My unexpected miracle healing (part one) http://wp.me/p2D9hg-Du

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Solace in the rose-colored candle: a prayer for the 26 Innocents of Newtown, CT

Rejoice in the Lord always. I shall say it again: rejoice! So says Saint Paul in the fourth chapter of Philippians.

Each reading this third Sunday of Advent proclaimed joy:

Shout for joy, daughter Zion!
sing joyfully, Israel!
Be glad and exult with all your heart,
daughter Jerusalem! (Zephaniah 13:4)

Shout with exultation, City of Zion,
for great in your midst
is the Holy One of Israel! (Isaiah 12:6)

rose colored candle2Amidst a sea of somber purple, the rose-colored candle was lit on the Advent wreath; a sign of joyful expectation for the Lord’s coming as Christmas day draws near.

Yet why does my heart not rejoice? Why is it that a mist hangs heavily over so many?

We all know why. A modern version of the slaughter of the Holy Innocents took place that past Friday in an idyllic, close-knit Connecticut town.

It was senseless and cruel when Herod ordered the original deed in his irrational desire to destroy the Christ Child. The first chapter of Exodus described the Pharaoh’s heartless decree to drown infant boys in his quest to slay the baby Moses.

And it is just as incomprehensible, just as heart-wrenching now knowing those twenty precious little children between the ages of six and seven, and six courageous women died an equally terrible death. Watching their families and friends in Newtown, CT careen from terror to shock and finally, to a grief so deep that it feels bottomless casts a pall over a joyful holiday. There appears to be no consolation.

And yet we were called to be joyful this Gaudate Sunday. We are expected to celebrate Christmas morning with our families while others will have unopened presents under the tree and an empty space at the dinner table.

I try to picture the children and the heroic adults who attempted to save them in the arms of Jesus, hovering over their families like the angels they are, trying to impart some consolation.

Will their loved ones be able to know it? To feel it?

innocent-children

The Christian faith teaches us that God is nearest in those moments when we cannot find the words or process the feelings or even lift our heads in our grief.

I think of Jesus at the Garden of Gethsame, begging for consolation from His Heavenly Father and the angels coming to minister to Him. He knew His Father was listening and therefore could experience their consolation.

All those new angels in Heaven are waiting and ready to offer that same consolation to their grieving loved ones.

Jesus calls on us to be alert, awake and ready: prepared to see Him at any turn.

I dig deep to pray that these grieving people will be able to recognize God in their midst and thus experience the ministering presence of their angels who long to offer consolation.

rose colored candle singleGrief is an opportunity, a moment of supreme and sublime vulnerability. It can be a time of transformation if we allow ourselves to be carried on the journey. It is tumultuous, frightening and exceedingly painful. If we are open, we can find that joy that Saint Paul talks about beneath the hurt. Slowly, gently, this joy can be the healing balm.

The newest angels up in Heaven are ready and waiting to apply the balm. The rose-colored candle in the Advent wreath can be the sign of their consolation.

So I will pray these grieving parents, siblings and husbands will be ready to receive that consolation and I invite you to do the same.

Click to Tweet & Share: Solace in the rose-colored candle: a prayer for the 26 Innocents of Newtown, CT http://wp.me/p2D9hg-kk

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