Miracle Stories- January
It is the Lord who heals and quite often does not heal as we would like and prefer. The following is a true story and it tells that the more we give the more we receive.
A woman and her husband were attending a Healing Mass. This woman had a fatal liver disease and had been given six months to live. As the priest prayed over the rows and came to the row before her row, they lifted and propped up a man with severe cancer. He could not stand on his own. His wife and family supported him and they cried. The woman with the liver disease saw this and was so moved that she prayed, “Lord if you will heal anyone here tonight, then heal this man.” The priest continued to pray over her row and the next and the next. Later that week she went to her doctor, and to her amazement and the praise of God, she was healed.
-Fr. Mike Barry
The hand of God—God’s presence made the difference between my life and death. It was July 1955, and I was 19. At that time, I lived with my mother and sister in Chicago and worked during my college years in a steel mill at Republic Steel Corporation. I worked the night shift (11:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m.) in the seamless pipe division that produced seamless pipe for gas—oil and gasoline that was used by the petro-chemical companies in our country.
Since I was a “summer worker,” I worked as a “supply man.” I supplied the various work stations with steel plugs and other implements that would pierce red-hot steel round bars as they spun through different machines, compressing the ingot or bar from 12 feet to 100 feet at the end of the line. The solid steel round bar was then pressed into a diameter of two feet. When finished, the pipes were shipped all over the world.
One day, when I was working the night shift, I was called upon to deliver two of the steel plugs; the steel plugs weighed about 20 pounds each. Rather than walk up and over the stairs that were provided for safe passage, I took a short cut, walking on top of the covers of the machine that the hot pipe passed through. I crossed when the red-hot ingot was 50 yards away. I thought, “I can be on the other side long before that hot bar goes through the metal covers.” I didn’t plan on grease being on one of the covers, however; and as I began to cross over, I slipped and started to hover as I lost my balance. The men at their station yelled for me to, “Get out!” I swayed as I tried to regain my balance.
I prayed, “Lord Jesus, please help, lest I perish!” A calm came over me. I heard a voice within me say, “Be calm and walk,” which I did. How I got to the other side, I’m still not clear on, but I did make it alive. When I got to the other side, the men embraced me and told me “what a close call I had.” If I had fallen into the machine, I would have been ground up by the high-speed revolving bar or burned alive by the red-hot pipe. The foreman proceeded to chew me out royally and told me he would fire me if I tried that stunt again!
Well, I couldn’t stop shaking, as I realized how close to death I had come and yet, I had felt God’s presence and an inner calm. That was three years before I entered the seminary. I’ve thought about that incident many times, and I still thank God for saving me. I know that my Redeemer lives. He is real to me!
-Msgr. Fred Florek