Sunday, February 15, 2009
Living as if everything is a miracle
I believe in miracles, God-incidents, soul connections and Divine intervention. And because I am not only open to these ideas, but often seek them out, it's not a surprise that I find extraordinary experiences in the everyday moments. Usually these Divine Moments come into my life through others. A soul connection to me is when you met someone and instantly feel like you have known then forever. You have so much in common and can talk about anything. Its like the other person knows everything about you and likes you anyway, LOL!! Today was a day to celebrate a "soul connection" that has made an amazing difference in my life, my friend Sr. Mary Anthony. We are kindred spirits and her prayers were essential in helping me get through a high risk pregnancy and all of the medical issues my sons dealth with. Here is the story...
Before I became a mother I used to have a life where I actually worked outside of my home and even traveled. It seems forever ago even though its only been three years. But, in that life I was a Campus Minister at a nearby college for 8 years. I counseled, planned retreats, organized spiritual services, ran community service programs, etc. It was amazing and I really enjoyed it. That job gave me opportunities to go places and meet people that I would never have otherwise. I traveled all over the East Coast and even went to Canada and Europe the youth group that I worked with.
On one trip my group and I went to Toronto, Canada for World Youth Day in 2002. Almost a million young people gathered to hear Pope John Paul II celebrate Mass. Sr. M.A. was there with her high school youth group. We quickly became friends and chatted and laughed over the antics of the young ones we were chaperoning. I could instantly see the charismatic faith Sr. M.A. had. People were drawn to her. She is tiny, but lives life out loud!! She had a BIG faith and she shares it in a very welcoming an easy going way. She is funny and loving!
A couple years passed and by God-incident we ended up bumping into each other again. I was working with a priest at the time that used to work with Sr. M.A. When I went with him to visit a friend of his at the convent, Sr MA happened to be living there too. We were excited to reconnect. Over the following year we would plan retreats together and chat sporadically.
The following year, I happened to be at the convent for an event and we got to talking. I was in the depths of my despair over dealing with fertility issues. And I was talking to Sr. M.A. about it. She is a great listener! And she told me I should pray to St. Anthony for his help in finding a way to have a baby. She told me of miraculous events that happened after her sisters in Poland had begun praying for a couple in a similar situation. And she gave me her St Anthony relic. Its a small jewelry box and inside has a piece of St. Anthony's body. It changed my life forever! After that my husband would joke that it wasn't a party until I pulled out the relic because I showed it to everyone and told them all the story. Sr. had also give me oil from St. Anthony's birthplace Padaua, Italy. Needless to say I slathered that oil all over praying for a miracle.
I did get my miracle- two of them!! TWINS!!! And both are named for St. Anthony. As I have already mentioned in previous posts, my pregnancy was eventful and I spent a long time in the hopsital. During that time Sr M.A. prayed for us. In fact, she started a prayer chain reaction.
At one particularly stressful point of my pregnancy (I was in the 25th week) my docs told me the boys would have a 40% chance of living if they were born. Not great stats. I was so scared! Later that morning one of the docs came back and said to me "If you pray, today is the day to do it." So I called Sr. MA and by God-incident she happened to be with her youth group and they offered prayers for us. She also added our names to the prayer intention list at the convent. Since it is a retirement home many of the sisters are very old and have lots of time to pray so they took the request very seriously and devoted prayers for us until my boys arrived into the world safely at 32 weeks! Sr. M.A. also spread the word to other convents so at one point we had sisters all along the East Coast and sisters in Poland all praying for my babies!! I truly believe that is one of the reasons my sons live and breathe today! No matter what grim news we got I knew in my heart of hearts that the sisters were storming the heavens and there was NO WAY God wouldn't grant them their requests!!
So today, Luccio and I visited Sr. M.A. and the other sisters at the convent. It was such a beautiful experience. The youth group students were there too!!! Luccio had a wonderful time showing off. And the students seemed so happy to meet him and spend time with the little guy they had been praying for. One sister came up to us after and thanked me for bringing Luccio. She said the sisters felt like they had gone through my pregnancy with me and were so relived when the boys were born healthy and were happy that Luccio made it through his medical challenges. One sister gave him an adorable teddy bear to take home!!
We have been so blessed to have wonderful people in our lives. Luccio is joy and light and I know he brings happiness to others, as does his brother Vincenzo. They both have such potential to change this world and leave their mark. With so many people praying for them I just know they will be amazing!!! I look forward to all the future holds for them. I am thankful for our friendship with Sr M.A. and glad that she has become part of our extended family!! God truly works miracles!!