Do you believe in miracles? The Vatican does, but surprisingly, they don't declare them very often. However, it was just decided that a 4-year-old who instantly recovered from a severe gastrointestinal condition did indeed experience a miracle. Luke Burgie of Colorado was only a toddler when he was gripped by stomach problems that left him with diarrhea up to 10 times a day, and he even stopped growing. Medical experts were baffled and couldn't seem to help him. He suffered with the agonizing condition for six months -- until his mother called in two nuns. They prayed over him for nine days straight, and just as they finished, his stomach ailment vanished.
The boy is now 18 years old and says he doesn't remember his ordeal. The Vatican began investigating his recovery as an official miracle, the first step towards the beatification of Mother Theresia Bonzel, which could lead to the nun, who died in 1905, becoming a saint.
The two nuns who were brought in to say a novena for Luke prayed to Mother Theresia. When his condition vanished, doctors couldn't explain that either. Since then, the Vatican, which apparently pores over thousands of medical documents, interviews doctors on the case, and rigorously investigates the family to make sure they didn't cause the condition themselves, has just decided it was a genuine miracle.
The family says they are not particularly religious. In fact, they don't describe themselves as practicing Catholics today. But mom Jan feels like her son did experience a miracle.
Journalist Bill Briggs, who has written about the Vactican's process of looking into miracles, is still skeptical, telling The Denver Post, "A lot of people pray every day for miracles and don't get them."
True. So are things that do seem genuinely miraculous miracles? And indeed why would some hard-praying people experience them and others not? Is it just that the odds of life are bound to stack in your favor occasionally?
I've experienced something I would call miraculous -- but I honestly don't know if it could be credited to the supernatural or God. I didn't pray for it. I just know that on a night when I happened to be home from college, something made me unable to sleep. By 2 a.m. I was still wide awake, tossing and turning, every fiber of my being alert to something.
It was then that I saw a strange orange glow on the ceiling, ran over to the front door, opened it, and saw that the barn next to my great-grandparents' house -- which was next door to the house I was in -- was raging in a two-story fire. I was able to call 911 and get my great-grandparents out of their house. If I'd been asleep -- as everyone else in the house was -- they likely would have died. Was that a miracle? Intuition? Coincidence? LUCK?
To this day, I don't know. And the Burgie family doesn't know either. I just know that whether something is called a miracle or not shouldn't stop you from being grateful and feeling blessed.
Have you ever experienced a miracle?
Image via loveMaegan/Flickr