When I was a child, my dream was to become a nun. My faith, gifts and connection to God were so strong and I thought that would be the best way to get even closer to God — but not all people have that calling. I still work for God, but the Church is not my formal employer.
As I quest for strengthening my relationship with God, I continually attract people with deep faith from all religions, spiritual beliefs and personal connections. One of these particular meetings changed my life forever.
I was working with a devout Catholic couple who offered me a book they had purchased when attending a presentation by nun Sister Briege. The book, titled Miracles do Happen, turned out to be a miracle in itself. As if called by God himself, I read the book over and over until I had memorized each word. I knew that I had to meet this lady who could heal through prayer alone. As a fascial therapist, I became mystified with her intense power.
I wondered “What was her secret connection to God? Can she teach it?” I wanted to learn what she prayed, the words she used and the way she felt. I wanted to know her secrets. The eager student I was imagined some verse or memorized prayer she could teach me.
I began to discover the history of Sister Briege who became a nun at the tender age of 15 years old despite typical age requirements. A young Irish woman, her determined spirit forged the way many times in her life.
The matter of “healing” within the Catholic Church can be tricky. Cautious about declaring people healers, when God alone is responsible for the end result, Sister Briege feared that using her miracle-working gift would be frowned upon. Nevertheless, she persisted and the Church supported her. She healed herself of rheumatoid arthritis through prayer and continued using her gift for those in need.
The more I learned of this incredible woman, the more obvious it became that we were destined to meet. Immediately I found the dates and location of her next healing retreat. Upon arrival I held my breath as I took a seat in the back of the church, filled with hundreds of terminally ill people, seeking healing and words of comfort.
Sister Briege McKenna spoke with an Irish accent the voice of an angel and a voice full of grace. Her words melted my heart and wished I had the peace and tranquility that she presented. I counted my blessings to be present in that room, patiently waiting for my moment to ask, “what is the secret?”
Throughout the retreat, Sister Briege shared her stories with a great sense of humor, humanity and compassion. It was soothing and peaceful to be around her. After the service, I introduced myself and asked, “Sister Briege, what do you pray? Is there something specific that I can say to help facilitate healing?”
Sister Briege replied in an Irish accent, “Darling, speak like you are sitting next to Jesus. The prayer is what you are spontaneously inspired to say to him.”
The secret was passion. The secret was the power of belief, of faith, which isn’t a secret but a personal journey. I realized that I had all the answers I was looking for. Sister Briege became my guide in learning the truth in my heart. The secret formula is your faith in God and your faith in yourself. God knows your heart.
While the divine messages from Sister Briege were endless, this is what I held onto the strongest: Life is a gift, and Jesus wants us to ask for healing. He wants to intercede for us and help any struggle, whether physical or emotional.
Sister Briege said, “Jesus wants to help us carry our cross or burdens, we often get discouraged and feel “Why should Jesus heal us?” Ask only “Why not?” We are worth it, as God’s children, we have the right to ask for everything and anything we need.
Jesus has an infinite amount of energy and healing abilities to share. Your prayer will be answered if it is truly in your highest interest and part of God’s plan. Briege said some prayers and healing do not take place because there is a bigger plan in play. When you are praying, the answer may not be the one you demand but the one you need.
I reluctantly stayed for the healing service that followed. The priest invited and welcomed people with cancer and life-threatening disorders to come up and receive healing prayer and blessing. People would be anointed with oil by several priests while Sister Briege was in a state of deep meditative prayer.
The priest initially asked that only the sick come up for healing. Inwardly, I was disappointed, since I believed that none of this pertained to me. I am confident God heard my thoughts, for suddenly the priest called upon those who suffer from migraines.
I have suffered from a unique type of migraine that occurred in both hemispheres of the brain which caused muscle spasms in my back and neck, paralysis on the left side of my body, debilitating pain in my head and a concussion which began from a car accident.
I lost most of my hearing and experienced tremendous pain for more days in the month than not. The pain never seemed to leave me altogether — leading to constant thoughts about retiring from my manual therapy career.
I immediately rushed to the front with an eagerness to participate and experience the healing. I wanted to be blessed with Sister Briege’s gift and to feel how this all works. I immediately felt something happen.
The blessing, prayer and anointing of the oil happened at the same time. Seconds later, a wave of heat filled my body. I sat down and began to feel as if I was getting younger on the inside. Physical stress was leaving my body and my pain was disappearing. The flexibility I had lost due to the car accident returned and I could sit comfortably without pain.
After being close to complete deafness for two years, my hearing slowly returned and I continually went to mass. Each time I received communion, I accepted the healing power of Jesus. The pains from the migraines disappeared after that day with the intense and intentional prayer by Sister Briege.
God had plans for me that were far greater than learning a prayer: He wanted me to be able to continue to help people heal through my work. God’s intention for me was to hear and be pain-free. God knew I would not have taken the time from work to heal myself. He knows my heart and my mind, then devised a strategy to receive my own healing.
Sister Briege stated that Jesus could heal our memories and erase our sufferings. Through prayer, she suggested that our renewed faith can liberate us from the bondage of addictions and can heal our minds spiritually. She said that everyone needs healing. This statement truly moved me. It is true; we are all broken on some level. It is normal. Life is not easy, but there should be ease.
How we pray is as personal as our relationship with God. I learned I could not copy Sister Briege’s prayer; it would lack the passion that is required for it to move God to pay attention. We can ask anything of God. Stay still in our thoughts, and you will hear His answer. If you are not available to hear – you may miss His response.
On many occasions, my prayers were answered in the voice of others. Spirit can use people as messengers, all of us are messengers of God, whether we are aware of it or not. Everyone we meet may have a piece to the puzzle we are trying to solve. Stay present in your relationship with God pay attention to the messages from Spirit.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will see me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you.”
Jeremiah 29:11- 14
Sister Briege stated that Jesus said, “In my name and in my power to do greater things than I have done.” I realized it meant that we all have the ability to be a greater healer, a teacher or a prophet for ourselves and others.
My work for the Lord has only just begun. I will always be eternally grateful for every miracle both in my life and the lives of others.
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