Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Brick-by-Brick Renewal and Physical Healing

Fr. Z always talks about brick-by-brick liturgical renewal. We take small steps, one or a few at a time, in order to unite ourselves more closely to God.

 Dr. Peters posted this today on his Facebook page:
Voices that know so much more than mine say that Thom's sitting in a wheel chair for 3+ hours today should be seen as a very, very good sign. Deo gratias. Btw, a few folks still think Thomas' accident was a driving one, instead of a diving one.
I think that is good news as well. One thing I have learned about miracles in the past year is that they aren't usually like Lazarus rising from the dead, or any of the healings directly worked by Our Lord during his earthly ministry. Healing isn't typically going to be certain and instantaneous. It seems that they were in the Gospels because of the presence of Our Lord.

And then there's this from Dr. Peters, from last week:
I have just realized what a big fan of "unprovable" miracles I really am. They accomplish great good, console on-looking believers, and leave unbelievers free to disbelieve, if that's what they wish. Provable miracles are all fine for canonical purposes (canonizations, etc), but unseen miracles for us folks are just fine by me. Prayers, please.
Earlier this year, a friend of a friend- all attended Christendom together- had an apparent stroke and fell comatose. The doctors were prepared for the worst. But, a massive email chain went out, and we prayed to Blessed John Paul the Great, as well as Our Lady and to Thomas Vander Woude. The latter, for those unfamiliar, is the naval aviator, father of seven sons, and coach and athletic director for Seton School and Christendom College who died saving his youngest son with Down Syndrome after he fell into a septic tank on the feast of the Nativity of Our Lady in 2008 (five years ago this September 8...).  His eldest, Father Thomas Vander Woude, is the priest who got 300 emails and calls for a baby who would otherwise be aborted.  Evidently, I am not the only one who believes him to be a saint. I can't prove who the intercession is attributable to, but I'll be darned: coming out of a coma after a stroke within 36 hours with no evident brain damage and normal functions is a miracle.

This brought me to the steps Thomas Peters has taken, especially this big one today. Good news! Three hours is a long time, and double what he spent yesterday in the wheelchair.

Then, it took me back to his update from his other son Robert on Sunday Mass.
Robert wrote this morning to say that Mass was offered for Thomas and Natalie this morning in the Church of St. Ignatius [in Rome]. The tombs of Robert Bellarmine, Aloysius Gonzaga, John Berchmanns, and Felix Cappello are there. They sang "Ave Verum Corpus" [a Peters family favorite] during communion... So far, so good. Rob added "It occurred to me that St. Ignatius was a rather appropriate place to have Mass offered for Thom. He did all his great work following a serious injury. Probably has a good idea how recovery works."
I like how he thinks too, Dr. Peters.

Isn't the bricklaying analogy applicable to the whole of Christian life, perhaps most especially in our times of sorrow or suffering? We are able to put the first brick down, and sometimes they get knocked down. Two bricks upwards, one brick knocked over. Our Lord gives us the perseverance to pick up the bricks and to finish the job of becoming holy, no matter what the outcome.

One of the leaders of our small groups at our Four Pillars youth group has only one leg. It was amputated above the knee. He had cancer in his knee in his mid-twenties. So he didn't get 'better.' But he grew holier, and managed to cope. So there's that outcome: limited physical healing but a tremendous growth in holiness. And, that has to happen for everyone around him too. Love bears all things.


No one can predict if Thomas will reach a point where he is disabled, or if by the workings of God he is mostly or totally healed and his physical functions are negligibly affected. But if Thomas's case is anything like that of St. Ignatius, and I'll be darned again if it isn't, his best is still to come.

Please continue to pray for his healing (you know, we do want a complete and total healing!!), and for those burdens on his wife, his mother, father, siblings, and other family members. Also remember-especially if you have made the Total Consecration- to pray for those who suffer and have no one to pray for them.

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