Healing, Grace, and Miracles
Many years ago, back in my classical pianist life, I was invited to record a CD at a small Byzantine Catholic Monastery in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It was one of the nicest experiences of my professional life as a musician, and I especially appreciated the deep, open, and accepting spirituality of the small group (four at that time) of monks.
In addition to their support of the arts, the monks spoke often with reverence of the nature spirits that surrounded the monastery and assisted them in their work. Although I am not Catholic nor do I consider myself Christian, we enjoyed many beautiful conversations about spirituality, music, art, and life, and I will always treasure the times spent with these beautiful men.
Last week, I received the monastery newsletter, with a personal story from one of the monks, Fr. Nicholas, about a miracle that he experienced this past summer. He became suddenly severely ill, and was diagnosed with Gillain-Barre Syndrome, a tremendously painful and potentially paralyzing and life-threatening illness.
The monks have befriended many people of all faiths and no faith over their 30 years on the shore of Lake Superior, and as word spread of Fr. Nicholas’ illness, people began praying. Fr. Nicholas said he did not think to pray for himself–his pain was too great and the thought of praying for himself was beyond him. But others prayed for him.
As plans were being made for moving him out of the hospital and into a long term nursing facility, suddenly the pain left him. He was able to stand up. He writes:
“At the neurologist’s request I stood on my toes and then rocked back on my heels. I walked around the room.”
“Are people praying for you?” she asked.
“Well, God has heard their prayers. You appear to be cured. As far as I’m concerned, you can go home.”
Looking to her companion she said, “We have just witnessed a miraculous healing. Miracles do happen.”
And then Fr. Nicholas wrote this paragraph which touched me so deeply and inspired me to share this story:
Many people are unable to pray for themselves. They may not know how to pray, may not believe in the power of prayer, or may be otherwise constrained; often they are even unaware of their need. So, we must pray for them, especially if we have been asked. A request for prayers is not just a formality or pleasantry; more often than not, it is a cry for help. We must never let it go unheeded. For God hears the prayers of all people, especially those made on behalf of others.
My eyes filled with tears as I read this and realized its profound truth. Prayer–no matter how we pray, in what tradition or no tradition–matters. Miracles DO happen. We don’t get to say how and when miracles happen, but they do. Miracles big and small surround us every day.
And when we open our hearts to another, through prayer, intention, blessing, Reiki…whatever words we choose to use for asking Great Spirit to assist another being…a great power is unleashed that reverberates through all creation. We never know how the prayers that we offer from a loving heart may change someone’s life. All we need to do is offer them, and trust that they do matter.
Divine Grace exists. It’s real. We can believe in Miracles.