Sunday, January 8, 2012

Tireless Intercessor

There's a great documentary called Tireless Intercessor about the life and miracles of Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos. It looks like we might have to chalk up another healing to his credit.

When Redemptorist Fr John Murray struck his head against a railing after tripping along a walkway 15 months ago, the consequences were devastating.

The Baltimore parish priest suffered a broken neck that left him immediately paralysed. Rushed to a hospital, he underwent emergency spinal cord surgery and later began rehabilitation.

Doctors said that Fr Murray, who was known across the east coast of America, for his preaching abilities, would almost certainly never walk again...

But on November 28 2010 Fr Murray did something everyone said was impossible. While living and undergoing rehabilitation at Stella Maris in Timonium, Maryland, he moved his left leg ever so slightly, lifting his foot off the ground.

“I was ecstatic,” Fr Murray said. “Here I was about six weeks after they told me I’d never move again and, lo and behold, I could move. Just the foot, but it kept going and going and going.”

Today Fr Murray is completely mobile. Using a Zimmer frame he is able to walk on his own at his new residence at St Clement Mission House in Ephrata.

Fr Murray sees only one explanation: an encounter with the miraculous. In his pocket he carries a small object with him at all times. Encased in a locket is a relic – a piece of bone – of Blessed Francis Seelos, a 19th-century Redemptorist priest under consideration for canonisation, who had been a rector of the same parish Fr Murray once led. “Ultimately, all prayers go to God. Seelos can’t give the grace, but he was the conduit for my prayers,” he said.

Dr Ernestine Wright, medical director of Stella Maris, said she was shocked by Fr Murray’s recovery and that she had never seen anything like it. A born-again Christian, Dr Wright said she believed it was miraculous.

I wonder what her opinion of the Church is. I'm sure there are more than a few Agent Scullys out there saying "Well, they did say that he 'almost' certainly wouldn't walk again. So he had a chance the whole time." When I hear those comments, I always think of that scene from Dumb and Dumber where Jim Carrey asks Lauren Holly if he has any chance of being with her. She tells him it's about one in a million, and he's thrilled to know that there's a chance.

Anyways, it's good thing to get the positive stories out there. I try not to let stuff here get overly gloomy.

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