In Luke 10:19, Jesus told the 72 other disciples, “Behold I have given you the power to tread upon the serpents and scorpions and upon all the forces of the enemy and nothing shall ever harm you.”
We read in Luke 4:17:21, “Jesus stood up to read and was handed a scroll of the prophet Isaiah. He unrolled the scroll and found the passage where it was written, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed me, to bring glad tidings to the poor, He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.” Rolling up the scroll, He handed it back to the attendant and sat down, and the eyes of all in the synagogue looked intently at Him. He said to them, “Today, this scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.”
In the Book of John 14:12, Jesus said, “Amen, I say unto you, whoever believes in me will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these because I am going to my Father.”
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”—Acts 1:8.
From these different passages in the scriptures, we can say that the Lord’s will and design for our lives are for us to live a power-filled style of living. The source of this mighty power, this divine power in our lives, is the Holy Spirit. It is not from our own wisdom or knowledge or ability but from the Holy Spirit. However, many people, including Christians, do not live in the power that the Lord wants them to have. Many Christians claim for themselves only a minute portion of what God has made possible for them in Christ Jesus because they are ignorant of what the Holy Spirit can do and wants to do for them and through them. In John 7:37, Jesus says, “Let anyone who thirsts come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me as scripture says, “Rivers of living waters shall flow within him.” When Jesus mentioned the “living waters,” He was actually referring to the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Holy Trinity. The Holy Spirit is the uncreated power of God. Jesus says in Luke 13:11, “If you then who are wicked know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will my Father in heaven give you the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?”
Some people describe His power as “dunamis,” a Greek word meaning “dynamite.” But I believe that this power that the Lord is giving us is more powerful, more potent than all the atomic bombs and weapons combined in this world. We have an awesome God and His power is mighty. There is no limit to His power. There is no description to His power. His power creates as well as destroys power that is not of Him and from Him. His power is Divine in nature and nothing is more powerful than divine power.
1. Have a constant, moment by moment, right personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.
He should be number one in our life. He should be the King, the Lord, the Savior of our life 24/7. In John 15:7-8, Jesus said, “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask for whatever you want, and it will be done for you. By this is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit and become my disciple.” Every time I read this passage in the scriptures, a feeling of tremendous excitement starts to “well up” within me.
2. Be an imitator of Christ.
In other words, we should strive to be like Jesus in every way. As a matter of fact, this should be the number one goal of a Christian. This necessitates for us to talk like Jesus, think like Jesus, act like Jesus did, have an attitude like that of Jesus and do what He commands us to do. Furthermore, it means “dying to self” so that we will be truly “alive in Him”(cf. Romans 6:11). I believe it is not impossible to achieve. Yes, we can achieve all of these through the power of the Holy Spirit. With God, nothing is impossible at all. In Philippians 4:13, Saint Paul states, “I can do all things with Christ who strengthens me.”
3. Constant, day-to-day, communication with God.
This is what prayer is—communication with God. We can do it with our eyes closed or our eyes opened. We can do it kneeling down or sitting down or standing up or walking around or even lying down. We can do it anywhere we are. We can do it with verbal outburst of emotion or without verbal words. Jesus said, “Ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find, knock and the door shall be opened unto you. For everyone who asks, receives; and for the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”
Now, how many Christians do you think pray but do not really have faith that God is going to do anything great? On the other hand, how many Christians have faith but do not have the discipline to pray? If we want to see the supernatural take place in our lives, we need to live a lifestyle that is focused on constant communication with God. In Phillipians 4:6, Saint Paul says, “Be anxious for nothing. But in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.” In James 4:2-3, we read, “Yet, you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.”
4. Be filled with the Holy Spirit.
Saint Paul says in Ephesians 5:18, “And do not get drunk on wine, in which lies debauchery, but be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Every day, we should ask the Holy Spirit in faith to fill us with His presence, His power and His grace. In Luke 11:13, Jesus said, “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?”
5. Obey the Lord’s commands and the promptings of His Holy Spirit.
In 1 Samuel15:22, the word of God says, “Obedience is better than sacrifice, submission than the fat of rams.” Our obedience to the Lord and His commands for us really moves the heart of God. Once, I was praying over a man born blind in a Catholic Coptic Church in Bethlehem, Holy Land, during a Healing Rally. This Arab Christian, named George, was 58 years old and I could only see “the white flesh” in his eyes. I could not even see his pupils because they were covered with this “white flesh.” As I was praying over George, I heard the Lord’s voice in my heart, telling me to command the “spirit of blindness” to leave him in Jesus’ name. I obeyed what the Lord was telling me to do.
Minutes later, he said he could see “shadows,” then, as I continued to pray over him, he said he could see “lights” and finally he said he could see “everything” around him. George was totally healed of blindness that day! Only in obedience to the Lord and His commands can we experience the miracles unfolding before our eyes. The following year, I went back to the Holy Land as a tour leader for 48 pilgrims. We went to Bethlehem and I came to the same Church looking for George. But Father Yacob the Parish priest told me “You can no longer see him here. George has been out there sight-seeing ever since he was healed of blindness.”
6. Saturate your entire being with God’s words.
Jesus said in John 6:63, “My words that I speak to you, they are spirit and they are life. “Psalm 109:105 tells us, “Your word, oh Lord, is a lamp for my feet and light to my path.” Indeed, God’s word is power! In Revelations 12:11, the Word of God says, “We conquer Satan by the word of our testimony and by the blood of the Lamb.” The “Catechism of the Catholic Church” (CCC) 104, states, “In sacred scripture, the Church constantly finds her nourishment and her strength, for she welcomes it not as a human word, “but as what it really is, the word of God.” “In the sacred books, the Father who is in heaven comes lovingly to meet His children, and talks with them.” Saint Jerome, one of the Doctors of the Catholic Church, says that “ignorance of scriptures is ignorance of Christ.”
7. Let us avail ourselves of the sacraments of the Catholic Church,
especially the sacraments of reconciliation or confession and the Eucharist. CCC 1422 states, “Those who approach the sacrament of penance obtain pardon from God’s mercy for the offense committed against Him, and are, at the same time, reconciled with the Church which they have wounded by their sins and which by charity, by example, and by prayer labors for their conversion.” It further maintains, “Jesus calls to conversion. This call is an essential part of the proclamation of the kingdom: ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” In the Church’s preaching this call is addressed first to those who do not yet know Christ and His gospel. Also, baptism is the principal place for the first and fundamental conversion. It is by faith in the gospel and by baptism that one renounces evil and gains salvation, that is, the forgiveness of all sins and the gift of new life (CCC 1427). In order for God’s power or anointing to remain in us, we should also avail ourselves with the Sacrament of the Eucharist daily, if possible.
The Holy Eucharist, The Documents of Vatican Council II tells us, is “the source and summit of the Christian life” (Lumen gentium, number 11; cf. CCC 1324). “At the Last Supper, on the night He was betrayed, our Savior instituted the Eucharistic sacrifice of His Body and Blood. This He did in order to perpetuate the sacrifice of the cross throughout the ages until He should come again, and so to entrust to His beloved spouse, the Church, a memorial of His death and resurrection: a sacrament of love, a sign of unity, a bond of charity, a Paschal banquet ‘in which Christ is consumed, the mind is filled with grace and a pledge of future glory is given to us’” (CCC 1323). We encounter Jesus in a very special way through the sacraments of the Church. Needless to say, the sacraments are also great sources of power in a person’s life.
8. Have an expectant faith, a kind of faith that can move mountains.
What is the Biblical definition of faith? Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrew 11:1). Jesus said in Luke 17:6, “If you had faith like a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and be planted in the sea’; and it would obey you.” “And without faith, it is impossible to please God.”(Hebrew 11:6). Faith is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. It is God’s will for us to have a supernatural kind of faith, a faith that can move mountains. We are all unworthy to be used by the Lord. Early in my ministry of preaching, teaching and healing, I reminded the Lord that I am unworthy and I feel unworthy to be a vessel of His power. He spoke into my heart. He said, “My son, I shed my precious blood for you on the Cross in Calvary. By doing so, I made you worthy of my love for you.” I, then, asked Him to grant me the faith that can move mountains. Faith can move the heart of God.
1. Use it in the Name of Jesus and by the power of His Holy Spirit.
In Ephesians 2:9-11, Saint Paul says, “For God has highly exulted Him and bestowed on Him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee shall bend of those of heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord for the glory of God the Father.” In November 2007, a lady called from Michigan asking me to pray with her for the dead fetus in her womb. She said, “I’m four months pregnant, but tomorrow, the doctors will have to remove the dead fetus from my womb. I am very scared of the doctor’s procedures and very distraught over what happened to my baby.” She said all the tests had confirmed the demise of the baby in her womb.
As we started to pray, I sensed that the Lord wanted me to speak life into the dead fetus. I followed the promptings of the Holy Spirit. I spoke life into the baby at least three times in the mighty name of Jesus. But I did not hear from the lady again until February 2008, which was five months later. She told me that she just delivered a healthy, eight-pound baby girl. When I asked her what happened, she said that on the day when the “dead” fetus was to be removed, the doctors were startled to detect heartbeats in the ultrasound. Truly, there is power in the Name of Jesus if we invoke it with love and reverence and with expectant faith.
2. Use it for God’s glory.
In 1 Corinthians 10:31, Saint Paul says, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God.” All honor and glory rightfully belong to God alone, for, without Him, we are nothing and we cannot do anything.”(cf. John 15:5). When I pray for the sick, for instance, I always ask the Lord for His name to be glorified through the healing of the person.
3. Use it with humility.
There is nothing except pride that can block, warp or dilute the power of God. Psalms 18:27 says, “For you save a humble people, but the haughty eyes you bring down.” Therefore, the more humble we become, the more power and anointing from God that will reside upon us. 1 Peter 5:5 reads,” Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.
Jesus Himself is the model of humility par excellence. According to Saint Paul in Phillipians 2:5-8, “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, He humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”
4. Use it with boldness.
We should always remember that “the Kingdom of God is not only a matter of words but of power” (cf. 1 Corinthians 4:20). The power of God should be used with boldness in the Holy Spirit. When the power of God is unleashed in our midst to further the Kingdom of God, it will always accomplish its intended purposes. In 2 Timothy 1:7, Saint Paul wrote, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self discipline.” In Acts 4:31, the word of God says, “And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.” My brothers and sisters, because of their boldness in the Holy Spirit, the apostles and the disciples had turned this world “upside down” and “inside out” and this world has never been the same. The good news is that we are also called by the Lord to do the same by virtue of our baptism.
5. Use it in love.
Love is the key that opens the Kingdom and the heart of God. In 1 Corinthians 13:13, the word of God says, “So faith, hope and love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” For sure, if we use God’s power with love, everything will be possible for us. In John 4:16, we read, “We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.”
God bless you all!
Robert Canton is a council member of International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services (ICCRS) representing the English-speaking North and Central America as well as the Caribbean countries. He is one of the 14 Council members who represent ICCRS to all the continents in the world. Canton also founded the Robert Canton Ministries, a non-profit organization aiming to evangelize the entire world through teaching, preaching and healing in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. He and his family have been residents of Stockton, California, since 1973.
I was listening in disbelief to the chastising words of my home daycare provider. Her disapproving look and tone only added to the churning in my stomach. There are few things as common to the human experience as feeling the sting of rejection or criticism. It is hard to hear less than flattering words about our behavior or character at any time, but particularly difficult when the critique leveled is one that feels unfair or inaccurate. As my husband often said, “Perception is reality;” I have come to see the truth of that statement time and again. Thus accusations that wound the most deeply are ones that seemingly come out of nowhere when the judgment of our actions may or may not reflect the intentions of our heart. Some years ago I was the recipient of the actions of one who misunderstood my intentions. Awaiting Miracle At the time, I was a mother in my late 30s, who was very grateful to have two toddlers. Despite intentional, well-timed efforts to conceive, for a full year, parenthood remained merely a dream for my husband and me. Leaving the gynecologist’s office after yet another visit, I reluctantly accepted what seemed inevitable: our only option now was the use of fertility drugs. Heading toward the car, I remarked dismally, “I guess we should stop at the pharmacy on the way home to get this prescription filled.” It was then that I heard my husband say, “Let’s give God one more month.” What?? We had already given Him a year and had been married nearly two. Our courtship had been slow to bloom. The years had added up until I was now 33 and hearing the steady ticking of my “biological clock.” Now driving home, I supposed I could wait one more month to start that drug… I peered down at the white stick’s center with the now-blue line. Excitement gripped me, and I ran out of the bathroom, shouting wildly, “We’re pregnant!!” 10 days later, I stood in front of my prayer community “family” of faith and proclaimed the good news, knowing that many of these friends had joined us in praying for this baby’s existence. Swinging Pendulum Now, four years later, we had both our long-awaited baby girl, Kristen, and our gregarious one-year- old son, Timmy, and I was listening in disbelief to the chastising words of my home daycare provider, “Miss Phyllis.” Phrases like “rebellion in children needing to be squelched,” Scriptures written out in longhand outlining the consequences of the apparent error of my ways. Her disapproving look and tone added to the churning in my stomach. I wanted to defend myself, to explain how I had read one parenting book after the other and that I tried to do everything the way the “experts” suggested. I stammered about how much I loved my children and was trying with all my heart to be a good mother. Holding back the tears, I left, the children in tow. Arriving home, I put Timmy down for a nap and settled Kristen in her room with a book to thumb through, so I could have some time to process what had just happened. As was my usual response to any crisis or problem in my life, I began to pray and seek the Lord for understanding. I realized I had two choices: I could deny the words of this woman who had been a patient, loving caregiver for my children since my daughter was 13 months old. I could try to justify my actions, reassert my intentions, and begin the process of finding a new provider for my children. Or I could examine what might have caused her to react uncharacteristically and see if there was a kernel of truth in her chastisement. I chose the latter, and as I sought the Lord, I realized I had allowed the pendulum to swing too far in the direction of love and mercy toward my children. I had used their young ages to excuse their disobedience, believing that if I just loved them enough, they would eventually do what I had asked them to. Before the Fall I couldn’t pretend Phyllis’s words hadn’t hurt. They had, deeply. Whether her perception of my parenting was, in actuality true, didn’t matter. What did matter was if I was willing to humble myself and learn from this situation. As the “Good Book” says, “Pride goes before a fall,” and heaven knows, I had already fallen pretty far off the pedestal of perfect parenting that I had set for myself. I certainly couldn’t afford another fall by clinging to my pride and hurt. It was time to acknowledge that the “experts” who write the books may not be the ones to listen to exclusively. Sometimes it is the voiceof experience that deserves our attention. The next morning, I helped the kids into their car seats and drove the familiar route to Kristen and Timmy’s caregiver, Phyllis. I knew I might not agree at times with advice that might be imparted from her in the future, but I did know that it took a wise and courageous woman to risk challenging me for the good of our family. After all, the word “discipline” comes from the word “disciple,” which means “to learn.” I had been a disciple of Jesus for many years, striving to live His ideals and principles. I had grown to trust Him as I encountered His enduring love again and again in my life. I would accept this discipline now, knowing it was a reflection of His love that wanted the best for not only me but for our family. Clambering out of the car, the three of us approached the front door when I paused to read once again the wooden hand-carved sign that was perched at eye level: “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Yes, that was what Phyllis had done. Just as the Lord does for us every day, if we have ears to hear, He “disciplines those He loves.” Jesus, our Teacher, works through those willing to risk rejection for the sake of another person’s good. Surely, Phyllis was striving to follow in His footsteps. Recognizing that this faith-filled woman intended to pass on what she had learned from the Master for my benefit, I knocked on the front door. As it swung open to allow us to enter, so too, did the door of my heart.
Ever heard of a robber who turned into a Saint? Moses the Black was a leader of a band of thieves who attacked, robbed, and murdered travelers in the Egyptian desert. The very mention of his name spread terror in people’s hearts. On one occasion, Moses had to hide in a monastery and was so amazed at the way he was treated by the Monks that he converted and became a monk! But the story doesn’t end there. Once, four of the robbers of his former band descended upon the cell of Moses. He had lost none of his great physical strength, so he tied them all up. Throwing them over his shoulder, he brought them to the monastery, where he asked the Elders what to do with them. The Elders ordered that they be set free. The robbers, learning that they had chanced upon their former ringleader and that he had dealt kindly with them, followed his example: they repented and became monks. Later, when the rest of the band of robbers heard about the repentance of Moses, they also gave up their thievery and became fervent monks. After many years of monastic struggles, Moses was ordained deacon. For another fifteen years, he continued his monastic labors. About 75 disciples gathered around the saintly Elder, who had been granted the gifts of wisdom, foresight, and power over demons by the Lord. Once, a certain brother committed an offense in Scete, the camp of the monks. When a congregation was assembled to decide on this matter, they sent for Abba Moses, but he refused to come. Then they sent the priest of the church to him, imploring, “Come, for all the people are expecting you,” and finally, he responded to their pleas. Taking a basket with a hole in it, he filled it with sand and carried it upon his shoulders. Those who went out to meet him asked, “What does this mean, O Father?” And he replied, “The sands are my sins, which are running down behind me, and I cannot see them. Yet, I have come here today to judge shortcomings that are not mine.” When they heard this, they set that brother free and said nothing further to him.
At half past six, when it was still pitch dark and freezing cold, Joshua Glicklich heard a whisper, a whisper that brought him back to life. My upbringing was very typical like that of any northern lad here in the United Kingdom. I went to a Catholic school and had my first Holy Communion. I was taught the Catholic faith, and we went to Church very often. By the time I got to the age of 16, I had to choose my education, and I chose to do my levels, not at a Catholic sixth form, but at a secular school. That is when I started to lose my faith. The constant pushing of the teachers and priests to deepen my faith and love of God was no longer there. I ended up at university, and this is where my faith was really tested. In my first semester, I was partying, going to all these different events, and not making the best choices. I made some really big mistakes--like going out drinking until God knows what time in the morning and living a life that didn’t make any sense. That January, when students had to return from their first-semester break, I returned a bit earlier than everyone else. That unforgettable day in my life, I woke up at about half past six in the morning. It was pitch black and freezing cold. Even the foxes that I used to see outside my room weren’t to be seen—it was that cold and horrible. I perceived an inaudible voice within me. It wasn’t a nudge or a push that was uncomfortable for me. It felt like a quiet whisper of God saying, “Joshua, I love you. You are my son … come back to me.” I could have easily walked away from that and totally ignored it. Yet I remembered that God does not abandon His children, no matter how far we have strayed. Though it was raining hailstones, I walked to Church that morning. As I put one foot in front of the other, I thought to myself, “What am I doing? Where am I going?” Yet God kept moving me forward, and I arrived at the church for the eight o’clock Mass on that cold, wintry day. For the first time since I was about 15 or 16, I let the words of the Mass wash over me. I heard the Sanctus— “Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of hosts.” Just before that, the priest said, “Joining with the choirs of the angels and the saints…” I put my heart into it and focused. I sensed angels descending on the altar to the real presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. I remember receiving the Holy Eucharist and thinking, “Where have I been, and what has all of this been about if not for Him?” As I received the Eucharist, a flood of tears overcame me. I realized that I was receiving the body of Christ. He was there within me, and I was His tabernacle—His resting place. From then on, I began to attend student Mass regularly. I met many Catholics who loved their faith. I often remember the quote by Saint Catherine of Siena, “Be who God meant you to be, and you will set the world on fire.” That’s what I saw in these students. I saw the Lord letting these people be who they were meant to be. God guided them gently like a Father. They were setting the world on fire—they were evangelizing by making their faith known to others on campus, sharing the Good News. I wanted to get involved, so I became part of the university chaplaincy. During this time, I learned to love my faith and to express it to others in a way that wasn’t overbearing but Christ-like. A few years later, I became the president of the Catholic Society. I had the privilege of leading a group of students in their faith development. During this time, my faith grew. I became an altar server. That’s when I got to know Christ—being up close to the altar. The priest says the words of transubstantiation, and the bread and wine turn into the true Body and Blood of Christ. As an altar server, all of this was right there in front of me. My eyes were opened to the absolute miracle that happens everywhere, at every Mass, on every altar. God respects our free will and the journey of life we take. However, to reach the right destination, we have to choose Him. Remember that no matter how far we have strayed away from God, He is always there with us, walking right beside us and guiding us to the right place. We are nothing but pilgrims on a journey to Heaven.
Born with non-verbal autism and diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa, a condition in which sight is gradually lost, he felt trapped in a silent prison of despair. Not able to communicate and hardly able to see…what would Colum’s life be? But God had other plans for him… My name is Colum, but in all my 24 years, I have never spoken my own name because I have been non-verbal since birth. As a child, I was assessed and identified with moderate autism and a severe learning disability. My life was very boring. My parents fought for my right to an education, setting up a school with other parents of autistic children and battling for funding to continue it. But because I couldn’t communicate, they didn’t know what my brain was capable of, and I found the material dull. People thought I was happier at home watching DVDs. I did not even go on holiday after I turned 8. I did not believe that I would ever break free of my silent prison of hopelessness and despair. Watching Others Live I always felt that Jesus was close to me. From my earliest days, He became my closest friend and remains so, to this day. In my darkest moments, He was there to give me hope and comfort. It was very trying to have everyone treat me like a baby when I was intelligent inside. My life felt unbearable. I seemed to be living a half-life as an onlooker, watching others living life while I was excluded. How often I wished I could take part and show my true ability. By the time I was 13, my eyesight was failing, so I was taken to Temple Street Children’s Hospital for an eye test called an electroretinogram(ERG). God had given me another challenge. I was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP), a condition where the cells of the retina at the back of the eye die off and are not replaced, so the sight is gradually lost. There is no medical cure to fix this. I was devastated. It was such an awful blow to me, and I felt overwhelmed by sadness. For a while, my vision stabilized, giving me hope that I would retain some sight, but as I got older, my sight got worse and worse. I became so blind that I couldn’t tell the difference between different colors anymore. My future looked black. I couldn’t communicate, and now I could hardly see. My life continued in grey despair with even less inclusion and interaction. My mother now believed that I would have to be institutionalized when I got older. I felt like I was teetering on the edge of insanity. Only God stood between me and madness. The love of Jesus was the only thing keeping me sane. My family knew nothing of my struggle because I couldn’t communicate with them, but in my heart, I felt Jesus telling me that I would be healed in time. Whirling Inside In April 2014, something amazing happened. My Mum took me to my first RPM (Rapid Prompt Method) workshop. I could hardly believe it. I finally met someone who believed in me, who believed that I could communicate, and who would help me put the hard work into learning how to. Can you imagine my delight? For an instant, my heart began to hope—hope, not fear, that the real me might emerge. Help had finally arrived. Joy whirled inside me at the thought that someone finally saw my potential. So began my life-changing journey into communication. It was very hard work at first, taking weeks of practice to gain the motor memory to be able to spell accurately. It was worth every minute. Feelings of freedom began to grow as I found my voice at last. As God started this new chapter in my story, it felt like my life had finally begun. At last, I could tell my family about how I was feeling, and I felt so grateful to God. Lashing & Biting Jumping forward to May 2017. My granny told us she had a very vivid dream a few years ago about Pope John Paul II. In the dream, she was asking him to pray for her grandchildren, and it was so powerful that she wrote it down. She had forgotten about it until she came across the copybook, and it inspired her to start a novena to Pope Saint John Paul II for my siblings and me. She asked a group of people to pray the novena with us beginning on Monday, 22nd May. On Tuesday, the 23rd, at about 9 am, I was watching a DVD in my room off the kitchen. Dad had gone to work, and Mum was in the kitchen cleaning. Suddenly, our dog, Bailey, started barking at the door of my room. She had never done anything like that before, so Mum knew something was wrong. She rushed in and found me in the throes of a fit. It was very frightening for her. I was lashing about and had bitten my tongue so there was blood on my face. In her distress, Mum got a sense of someone saying, “Just trust. Sometimes things get worse before they get better”. She called Dad, who promised to come home. He asked her to take a video of me which was very useful when we got to the hospital. When I stopped jerking, I was in a stupor for over two minutes. I had lost consciousness during this ordeal, and I don’t remember anything about it, but Mum had been praying for me and watching over me to keep me safe. A Moment of Illumination When I finally came to and staggered to my feet, I was very unsteady. Mum and Dad helped me into the car for the drive to the hospital (UCHG). At the hospital, the doctors examined me and admitted me to the hospital for further investigation. The porter came with the wheelchair to move me to the Acute Medical Ward. While I was being wheeled along the corridor, I suddenly got a very dramatic improvement in my eyesight. How can I describe my feelings at that moment? I felt mesmerized by the beauty of the sights around me. Everything looked so different and so clear. It was amazing! It is impossible to explain how I felt in that moment of illumination. I can’t express the degree of my wonder at returning to a world of color and shape. It was the best moment of my life so far! When Mum asked me if I had something to say, I spelled out, “My eyes are better.” Mum was astounded. She asked if I could see a sticker on a machine outside my cubicle. I said, “Yes.” She asked if I could see what was written on the top of the sticker. I spelled out, “I am clean.” She was so astonished that she didn’t know what to think or how to react. I didn’t know how to feel at this moment myself! When Dad and my aunt came in, Mum told them what had happened. Dad said, “We will have to test this.” He went to the curtain at the end of my bed and held up a small bag of dairy-free chocolate buttons. I spelled out what was written on the bag. Then it was rapid fire for a while as he gave me lots of words to spell in the next few minutes. I got all the words right. My aunt and parents were amazed. How was this possible? How could a blind man write all the words correctly? It was medically impossible. No amount of medical treatment can help with Retinitis Pigmentosa. There is no cure in medical science. It had to be God miraculously healing me through the intercession of Saint John Paul II. It cannot be explained any other way. I’m so grateful to God for restoring my sight. It is an act of true Divine Mercy. I am now able to use a keyboard for independent communication with speech, which is much faster. My Praying Mom Let me tell you about how I kept the faith. I had many times of doubts when I felt hopeless. It was only Jesus who kept me sane. I got my faith from my mother. Her faith is very strong. She inspired me to keep going when times were tough. Now I know our prayers are answered. It took me a while to get used to having my eyesight back. My brain/body disconnect was so great, and my brain was not wired to use vision in a functional way. It was fine for scanning, but it was difficult to get my brain to use information from my vision. For instance, although I could see, I still found it hard to identify what I was looking for. I got frustrated sometimes when I stumbled because I didn’t see where I was going even though I had a vision. In September, I went back to the hospital for testing. I got a 20:20 score for my sight and color vision, so my vision is normal now. However, the retinal photograph still shows degeneration. It hasn’t improved. According to medical science, it is impossible for me to see clearly. I should still be stuck in a murky, grey world. But God, in His mercy, has released me from that dull prison and plunged me into a beautiful world of color and light. The doctors are baffled. They are still baffled, but I rejoice because I can still see. Now, I can do many things much better than before. I can tell Mum things much faster now that I can use the laminated alphabet sheet. It is so much quicker than the stencil. I am so grateful to my talented Mum for persisting with my education despite the difficulties and for praying so faithfully for my healing. In the Gospels, we hear about Jesus restoring the sight of many blind people, just as he had restored mine. In these modern times, many people have forgotten about miracles. They scoff and think that science has all the answers. God is left out of their considerations. When a miracle like my healing occurs, He is revealing that He is still very much alive and powerful. I hope that my story of healing will inspire you to open your heart to the God who loves you so much. The Father of Mercy awaits your response.
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