Friday, November 22, 2013

Our Lady Undoer of Knots and Medical Miracles

Of course, bad things happen to good people. My innocent 14 month old nephew was run over by an SUV in a library parking lot in Orange County.  Though there was a medic or a nurse (can’t remember now) on the site who helped administer first aid, he was rushed to the ER trauma unit and the doctors’ prognosis was that due to severe head injury, he had “less than 1% chance of survival.”  Everyone in the circle of family and friends poured in for help and support.  Those who visited the hospital prayed the rosary constantly with my cousin, the toddler’s mother.  It so happened that they wound up in a hospital that had just gotten word about a nurse who’d just invented a brain catheter for children.  Since it had just gotten approved, my nephew was the first patient to use it.  The catheter would eventually save his life.  My nephew is a healthy, soccer playing, trophy-winning, 14 year-old today.

Of her experience, my cousin has said, “God used that less than 1% chance of survival and turned it into a miracle.”

In mid October, my dad suffered a mild stroke.  He was diagnosed with aneurysm. In layman’s terms, a couple of huge balloons lodged in inconvenient positions by his heart.  Several local doctors refused to perform surgery and others floated a risky open-heart surgery as the solution.  At about this time, the earth trembled with a 7.4 magnitude earthquake, which damaged the hospital wing, prompting doctor-friends to advise my dad to fly to Manila for other options. My sister (a physician) scouted around for the nth medical opinion by seeking a cardiologist outside the hospital OR.  Godincidentaly, another physician (lounging at the sides) overheard the consultation and recommended a surgeon in Manila who specialized in a more modern, less invasive procedure of grafting instead of the open-heart surgery.

We didn’t know if they could set an appointment immediately, if my dad would qualify for it and my sister warned us of the high risks of everything involved – his complicated case, the chance of a rupture while flying on a plane, the possible effects of the surgeries (including death and paralysis) and all the mumbo jumbo only medical personal can understand. While amazing sister pulled out all her medical prowess and connections and patiently walked with my parents through the labyrinth of medical appointments and tests, the rest of our network of family and friends tugged on our heavenly connections for help. 
Dad and I swinging at my wedding.
Meanwhile, I searched for the perfect novena.  And by ‘perfect’ I mean a prayer that would not only cover call medical bases (guidance of medical team, successful surgery, speedy recovery)  but also and most importantly that my dad’s experience would be a transforming spiritual moment for him to experience an even deeper conversion within his faith.  My dad is a cradle Catholic, a good practicing one, but frankly, has a difficult time grasping the concept of redemptive suffering.   So my ‘perfect’ prayer had to bring to the forefront spiritual healing because only then would physical healing follow.

Enter Our Lady’s Undoer of Knots novena.  (Thank you Pope Francis and Mary for bringing that to my attention.)  If you’ve read that novena, you’ll know that without a doubt it was tailor made for situations like these.  It entrusts all the knots of our lives to Our Lady so that she can undo each and every one of them and turn it into a wispy ribbon leading to her son, Jesus.    The devotion originated from a painting by Johann Schmidttner in the 1700.  St. Ireneus later mediated on the painting that “while Eve, with her disobedience, tied the knot of disgrace for the human race, Mary, by her obedience, undid it.” (I prayed nine days of petition and another nine days in thanksgiving.)

While in Manila, my dad had a series of more tests, with one doctor having to be unexpectedly replaced at the last minute.  In the end, my dad underwent bypass and subsequently, a coronary stent and grafting procedure – in the hands of a team of skilled surgeons who prayed over my dad before his surgeries and did everything without the invasive open heart option.  Nothing short of a medical miracle. Every single step of our medical drama led to several heart-stopping moments, but overall, a transforming spiritual journey for my entire family.  Our trust is deeper, faith stronger, love more committed, and souls infinitely united in the knots of suffering.

When bad things happen to good people, and we pray with Our Lady, God guides us with unmistakable and unparalleled direction, enters into the details, uses it as a spiritual teaching moment and makes miracles out of the situation.

Our Lady undoer of knots, clots, aneurysms and medical miracles, pray for us. 



Gina said...

I'll join my prayers to yours specifically invoking her intercession, Anabelle.

All my love, now and always. <3

8 kids and a business said...

Annabelle, thank you for sharing the hope of your family in times of worry. I have just finished praying the novena to Our Lady Undoer of Knots for a friend who is undergoing some medical challenges. It's a beautiful novena, full of consolation and assurance of prayers answered in God's time.

Anna Yager said...

I found the prayer to "Our Lady, Untier of Knots" a couple of years ago and immediately fell in love with it. What a blessing it was to find that it is a favorite of Pope Francis! Besides having prayed the novena, I pray the basic prayer every day for specific people. It's been a wonderful addition to my daily prayers, especially while I'm knitting (it's the perfect prayer for us knitters to use!).

Anabelle Hazard said...

Thanks Gina. Love to you too.
Terry, I am last to know about this novena. I will pray for your friend.
Anna, what a great addition to your daily prayers and to pray it for specific people. Thank you for this idea. I will copy. And yes, I can see where the knitters can relate to this prayer.

Margaret Milkas said...

I was shown the novena to Our Lady by a friend who knew our teenage son was suffering from severe depression to the point of hospitilization. I prayed it twice once to get him into the facility he needed to be in and then for him to come home. He comes home for good 3 days before Christmas! God is good all the time and All the time God is good.

pauline Juma said...

I prayed the Novena last month for nine days and I was able to pay off a debt that had caused me a lot of frustrations. Thank you Mother Mary for undoing that knot. I pray that you may continue undoing the knots that are making me unhappy in this lif. Mary the undoer of knots, Pray for us.