All you can do now is pray," the doctor informed our family as we gathered around seventy-year-old Aunt Molly as
she lay in intensive care. The diagnosis was grim. Molly was in a
coma; there was bleeding in her brain. Assuring us that the nurses would call if anything happened during the night, the doctor left the family alone to say "goodbye" to Molly.
Looking at this wonderful woman who, with her husband, had sponsored our family when we immigrated in the 1950s from Ireland, I could not hold back the tears as I placed my hand on her head and prayed that God's love would permeate every cell in her body. I imagined Molly whole and healed in God's embrace, surrounded with boundless love. Asking Mary, the mother of Jesus, to be her companion through the night, I kissed Molly gently and left the room.
For the next three days, our family prayed, watched and waited while Molly remained in the coma. Then on the third morning, Dad and my brother Sean went to see her. "Molly," Dad said in a loud, teasing voice, "it's time for you to get up out of the bed. You've been sleeping long enough." Suddenly, Sean noticed Molly's toes moving. They called the nurses and doctors into the room and, as the medical professionals came in to check her, Molly opened her eyes and yawned, as if she had awakened from a long winter's nap.
Several weeks later, Molly recovered completely and returned home. From that day onward, Molly did not let any grass grow under her feet. She took trips, cared for my mother, cooked meals, and enjoyed every minute of the fifteen years of life God gave her after that illness. People who knew her story of healing called her the "miracle lady."
When I was a young adult, I used to think that miracles were healings performed by Christ long ago to help us have faith. I used to think that you had to be "a good Christian" for God to do a miracle for you. I used to think that miracles happened only in places like Lourdes. Then God healed Aunt Molly, and I felt like God had hit me over the head with a sledge hammer. When I awoke from the impact, so to speak, I had a deeper consciousness that, yes, miracles do happen. They happen to ordinary people-like our family and big and small miracles happen everyday.
Miracles are God's way of saying to us: "Hello! I am the God who works miracles all the time. Never put limits on what I can do for you. There is always more that I will do. Open yourself to my healing power. I will make you whole in body, mind and spirit. I will take perfect care of you and your loved ones. All I ask of you is to believe in me.