Jan 09, 2020 1079 Mary Therese Emmons,

Miracles Do happen

Broken Pieces of Our Heart

“One year of treatment.” Glancing up, I saw the pity in the eyes of my husband’s neurosurgeon as he quietly said those words. “One year to live.”

“Be strong,” I told myself. I trembled as I tried to process those devastating words. Dear Chris—my best friend since we were teenagers. After 21 years of marriage and four beautiful children, I could not even begin to fathom my life without him. I could physically feel my heartbreaking as my world began to crumble.

Incurable cancer. That sounds so hopeless and concrete, yet I know nothing is beyond hope. I would faithfully cling to this notion, keeping it pressed close to my heart. In two days, we returned for surgery, attempting to remove the massive, cancerous tumor lurking inside his brain. Surgery was followed by a year of agonizing treatment, and I was forced to watch him helplessly wither away. This strong man, who had spent his life helping others and had even saved lives by risking his own, was becoming a shadow of himself. That painful image was almost too much for my shattered heart to bear.

Our precious, faith-filled children wept, overwhelmed with the news. They were full of heartache and anxiety for the future, yet between those quiet sobs—as they faced their father’s approaching death—our children reassured us that miracles happen. With complete faith and trust in God’s will, they prayed for a miracle, without ceasing. Not once did these sweet children express anger, either at the situation or the eternal Father Himself for allowing it. Again and again they reminded me of the words I had spoken to them so many times: We must live for the next life. If God willed this cross for our family then we would put our trust in His plan even if we might not understand it. Gathering the pieces of our broken hearts, still overflowing with love for our heavenly Father, we offered up our anguish, keeping in mind that this life is short, and Earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot heal.

A Miracle Before Our Eyes!

Prayer truly works miracles and touches the divine heart of God. Prayer, which had always been a large part of our life, now became our life. Total trust, total faith and total hope. We begged God to help us carry this agonizing cross with grace so that, if a miracle was not in His plans, we could set an example for others by our unwavering faith and unshakeable trust in His love for us.

After six weeks of standard treatment, the new MRI showed another tumor. This one was inoperable. The news was crushing, defeating. A new treatment was started but we were not given much hope. Chris would jokingly say that if he was going to be a miracle, he was going to be a BIG one.

Hundreds of people were storming heaven with prayers and their prayers were truly palpable. In hopes of healing and strength during his grueling treatment, Chris had been blessed and anointed with everything that was offered to him—special oils, holy water from around the world and relics, including a special purificator stained with the precious blood. This holy cloth had been bequeathed to our parish priest by a beloved priest named Father Stu.

Weeks into the new treatment our priest offered to bless Chris with Father Stu’s purificator a second time. While explaining that he had been asking for Father Stu’s intercession, our priest showed us the holy cloth, now encased in a plastic sleeve. Puzzled, we looked closer and saw something truly miraculous: the precious blood stains that were under the appearance of dried wine had started to visibly change. These sacred stains now amazingly looked like fresh blood—a eucharistic miracle right before our eyes! What a humbling, unexpected gift from our tender heavenly Father. I knew in my heart we were being given a sign that miracles do happen in answer to prayer.

Dear Saint Therese of Lisieux so trusting and lovingly stated that prayerful confidence works miracles. How comforting her words have been on this painful, extraordinary and heartbreakingly beautiful journey. Today, Chris has surpassed his prognosis and his inoperable tumor has miraculously disappeared—he is living, breathing proof of the power of prayer and our loving God’s abundant mercy to his little, trusting souls.


Mary Therese Emmons

©Mary Therese Emmons is a busy mother of four teenagers. She has spent more than 25 years as a catechist at her local parish, teaching the Catholic faith to young children. She lives with her family in Montana, United States of America.

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