In July of 2013, I asked Father Michael if he would pray for the healing of a young man.I only knew of Thomas through his online writings and tweets, but I had always been very impressed by him. This young man, married just three months , had suffered an injury to his spinal vertebrae in an accident. When I first asked Father M for prayers, the prognosis for Thomas was not encouraging. The doctors talked of a “persistent vegetative state” and paralysis. But Thomas improved remarkably, perhaps miraculously. He moved , he talked-and got much better. Thomas was surrounded through it all by loving, faith-filled family, friends, colleagues — and of course his spouse, Natalie.
Well, Father Michael was impressed by the unwavering faith of this young couple and constantly was asking me for updates on them. He would often say things like “can you imagine a couple facing this so early in their marriage? How many people even imagine something like this happening when they say their vows?” Father Michael looked at this young couple as an extraordinary example of a loving marriage. He often spoke of how the love and sacrifices and graces of that sacrament awed him, especially when their effects were so evident in peoples’ everyday lives.
I was dependent on updates from Thomas’ recovery website to keep Father M “in the know”. I relayed Thomas’ newly recovered abilities and sent Father M some of the pictures that were on the Recovery page. I sent texts whenever I wanted to quickly inform Father M. Father Michael marveled at it all and gave thanks for each improvement in Thomas’ condition. He became more and more fond of this young couple ! He wrote me this email:
“Thanks for the picture! What a lovely couple! I continue to be awed by their faith and the miracle that has happened. God is good and we have to celebrate all the good in life.”
He sent this after seeing pictures of Thomas’ rehab work : ” It is so good to see Tom able to use his body. Isn’t God awesome? He has done incredible work since the accident. It could be a whole different reality”
And this after receiving another picture from their site:“What a wonderful photo. Aren’t we blessed to be connected by this story! Thanks for keeping me updated on this marvelous couple. Blessings and hugs, Fr.Michael”
And this-after several of my text updates:“Thanks for all the updates on Tom. He will be the Thanksgiving and Christmas miracle! Can you imagine their short journey of marriage thus far?”
And on Labor Day 2013 Father M left me a voicemail full of hope for Thomas and himself. I’ll let him speak for himself—
Thomas Peters continues to recover- through much effort and the grace of God. If you would like to know more of his story,here is a link to the recovery web site
So Father Michael saw this all as the “Wonderment of God”. I often think of Tom in rehab and his efforts to walk again -and I pray for him and Natalie. I also picture Father Michael nearby, surveying it all, hoping for the miracles to come. He wouldn’t want to miss them-something to celebrate!