Prayer is powerful; try the rosary in October

    Sometimes we hear God when we least expect it. I remember when I was a child and heard the story of God speaking to Moses from a burning bush, and I thought that I would never hear God speak to me since phenomenal or miraculous things never happened in my life. What is easy to forget is that sometimes we witness miracles every day without even realizing it, and in those everyday miracles, we find that God is speaking to us quietly, almost in a whisper.
    A few months ago, a story was circulating on the Internet about a “mystery” priest who showed up at the scene of an accident in Missouri, despite a lack of bystanders or witnesses. Seeing the woman pinned in her car and surrounded by a rescue crew unable to help her, the priest anointed the woman and began praying the rosary with the rescue workers. Soon, additional help arrived and the rescue crew was able to save the woman. When the crew went to thank the priest, they saw that he had vanished. Moreover, no photographs were taken that provided evidence of the priest’s role in the accident. In multiple news sources, the fire chief is quoted saying, “It was nothing more than sheer faith and nothing short of a miracle.”
    In subsequent weeks, commenters from various websites were attributing the event to a miraculous instance of a saint or angel showing up in a time of need. Without “proof,” people seemed more inclined to believe in the power of faith. Eventually, the priest came forward and provided a statement confirming the report. With the evidence of a priest performing his ministerial duties, however, the story seemed to lose its testament of religious power, as many began claiming that miracles do not exist.
    But what most people don’t realize is that miracles do not have to be phenomenal events in which we see apparitions. Certainly, these miracles are performed: we recently celebrated Mary’s apparition to the children in Fatima on Oct. 13, 1917. What is, perhaps, truly miraculous about this incident in Missouri is that the priest happened to arrive at the scene as he was returning from celebrating Mass for a sick priest. Some might call it coincidence or just a case of being in the right place at the right time. But, in the early versions of the news story, the rescue crew were doubting their capability of freeing the woman. Then, as the priest arrived and prayed the rosary, suddenly the crew was given help and the woman was able to be freed.
    Sometimes, it’s hard to believe in the power of prayer. Our prayers become almost instinctive to us, almost as if recited from memory, and devoid of feeling. In stories like this, we realize just how powerful prayer can be, and particularly, the power of the rosary. With October celebrated as the month of the rosary, we can realize the power of Mary’s intercession. The priest could have said any number of prayers, and yet, he chose the rosary. He chose to ask for Mary’s intercession to plead with her son, Jesus, to deliver the woman to safety. And in that moment, a small, everyday miracle was witnessed.
    With each answered prayer, we witness everyday miracles, and we can hear God speaking to us quietly, if we listen. After all, a miracle is defined as a work of God that is done either directly or indirectly through the prayer or intercessions of a specific saint or saints. God doesn’t need to appear to us in awesome signs that immediately capture our attention. Rather, sometimes we need the reassurance of God’s presence in the small acts of everyday life that oftentimes pass us by.
    Heather Bozant Witcher can be reached at hbozantwitcher@clarionherald.org.

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