“We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has gone through. I do not think that wide circles of the American society or wide circles of the Christian community realize this fully. We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-Church, of the Gospel and the anti-Gospel. This confrontation lies within the plans of divine providence. It is a trial which the whole Church… must take up.” Karol Cardinal Wotyla (Sept. 1976)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

We Could All Use a Miracle Right About Now, Couldn't We?

Today I was determined to find good news out there. It seems lately every headline posted at Yahoo or Google is depressing, as our country seems to be more adrift. I was determined to find a story to give everyone a quick Faith shot in the arm. It took quite a bit of searching, but I found such a story that was not even carried by English-speaking media outlets.

As we Americans are very familiar with, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (or ALS/Lou Gehrig’s Disease) is a horrible disease which gives its recipients very little hope. Sadly, only one in five people who are given this diagnosis live more than 5 five years. 50 percent of them do not make it 3 years.

By 2005, an Italian woman, Antonietta Raco (pictured), was completely paralyzed due to this disease and was resolved that this disease would run its course on her. In August of 2009, her body was completely free of the disease. What happened in between you ask? A pilgrimage to Lourdes, France.

Her prayers at Lourdes were not for self healing. She asked God to take her life in His hands. She asked the Lord to not have her last days mirror a recent highly publicized euthanasia case. She also prayed for a young girl in her village who shared her disease and her fate.

“I felt the presence of someone else [in the healing pool] that held me by the neck; I tried to turn around, but nobody was there. I felt a great pain in the legs, then a relief."

"It was at that moment when I heard to my left, a beautiful female voice, soft, tender, light," she said. “I never heard anything like it; I was relieved by the mere fact that I could actually physically hear her voice." The Woman said, 'Do not be afraid, do not be afraid!”

Upon examining Raco, Dr. Chio, her physician for the past 4 years, was quoted saying, “…from the standpoint of the medical literature, there has never been a case of regression for this disease.” He was surprised and said, "I am left speechless,'" Raco recalled.

I often think of an explanation for miracles that I once heard that resonated with me. The explanation was that a main purpose of a miracle is to remind us all who is really in control and still remains all powerful over science, nature, physics, perceptions, academia and our low-level realities. As humans we become standardized to the ways of the world and trapped in its secular thinking. Miracles drive a bulldozer through this default thinking.

Some links we all could use:

Here is a list of people who were cured at Lourdes. This is the official document, the Catholic Church is the most critical review on any reported cure. Ms. Raco has not been added yet.

Here is a link to get your prayer requests delivered to the Grotto at Lourdes.

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