Sunday, August 18, 2019

61 Minutes to a Miracle

“When Jesus heard it he said, ‘This illness is not unto death; 
it is for the glory of God, so that the 
Son of God may be glorified by means of it.’ ” 
John 11:4, The Story of Lazarus

Seven years ago, I met Bonnie Engstrom for the very first time.  As an avid reader of her blog, A Knotted Life, I felt as though I already knew her. We happened to bump into each other in the ladies room at the Omni hotel in Austin, Texas, host to the Edel Gathering of which both of us were attending.

Just shy of four weeks since giving birth to our sixth son, I staggered into the ladies room, diaper bag and baby tow, sweating that post-partum hormonal fluctuation sweat that makes the fun of being dressed up for a special occasion not so fun.

But, to my delight, Bonnie was there. She was a beautiful, familiar face, and I instantly felt at ease in her company, my discomfort and insecurities melting away with the Texas heat.  When she asked to borrow my lipstick, I didn't hesitate for a second, because I knew that she was the kind of person who would lend me her lipstick and her right arm if I asked her.

After that providential meeting at Edel, our virtual friendship became a real one, and I have continued to follow Bonnie's extraordinary ordinary life with great affection and gratitude, as she has made a sincere difference in my life as a wife, mother and Catholic.

It's been five years since we swapped lipstick and stories. And today, with the biggest smile on my face, I am sitting in our school room typing an invitation to all of you to get to know the Bonnie that I know, not only through her blog, and shining social media posts, but through her most recent accomplishment, the publication of 61 Minutes to a Miracle.
(Pre-order here)

I was giddy with excitement when Bonnie forwarded me a copy of her book to read and share with others. As I turned the last page of one of the most amazing stories I've ever read, removing my wet-with-tears glasses, I turned to my husband, Steve, and said, "It doesn't matter what religion you profess, we all need this story.  I mean we NEED this story."

Bonnie and Travis Engstrom's son, James, was born without a pulse.  He remained that way for 61 minutes - not seconds - minutes.  Today he is a healthy, thriving, active eight year old! Bonnie, Travis, and a host of others prayed fervently during those 61 minutes, imploring the intercession of Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen.  (To intercede is to pray to God the Father for another on their behalf.)

Their prayers were answered! It is to Cardinal Sheen that James' miracle is attributed, and for God's great glory that we as Christians may know of this miracle, and that our faith be strengthened by it.

 It seemed obvious to us that when God brought James back to life, 
he had done so in such a way that James’s body would not only survive, but also thrive. 
We poured out praise and thanksgiving to God, of course, but we were also so grateful 
for all the friends, family, and strangers who had interceded for our son, 
the first and foremost Fulton Sheen.
- 61 Minutes to a Miracle, p. 87

I cannot encourage you enough to purchase and read 61 Minutes to a Miracle, to share it with others, to give it as a gift, to read it to your families, and to ponder, along with me, the power of prayer, of the Body of Christ, and of the family of saints we have in Heaven waiting to intercede for each and every one of us each and every day. 

Would you like to know more about Venerable Fulton J. Sheen? Consider:

Want to know more about the process of declaring someone a saint? Check out:

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