Miracles

There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as if everything is.

-Unknown (often misattributed to Albert Einstein)

I’ve been feeling somewhat punk from a cold the past couple of days. Though I know it’s not COVID, I still felt it was prudent to stay home from church Sunday morning given that the mean age of the parishioners of our Mesa church is probably 75 years old. A germ or two could knock someone down for the count.

During the COVID quarantine, my family got in the habit of watching Sunday Mass on St. Patrick’s Cathedral in NYC online. Nearly every Sunday, Cardinal Timothy Dolan says the Mass. He is an extraordinary priest, as evidenced that he has made it all the way to Cardinal. But I watch him because he is an extraordinary homilist. Every homily I have ever heard him preach has made me stop to think, or shed a tear or two, or make me so very happy to be a believer in Jesus. So it was back to St. Patrick’s I went on Sunday.

His homily, as usual, was wonderful. But my sister Jen told me suggested to me that I listen to his Christmas Day homily, and so I did. He spoke about miracles. It is a compelling topic, particularly on Christmas Day when we celebrate the miracle of Christ’s birth. After all, he was born to a virgin, announced to the world by angels, and received a visit from three kings thanks to a star that led them to the stable.

Lots of miracles.

I believe in miracles, and I lean towards the everything-is-a-miracle camp. (See quote above) I recognize that those who are in the nothing-is-a-miracle camp can explain almost everything through science. (But really? A Big Bang?) Anyhoo, for me, the very fact that I was able to watch Cardinal Dolan’s homily via YouTube several weeks after Christmas is a miracle. The fact that my cell phone, which measures somewhere in the neighborhood of 3 x 5 inches, is basically a computer is a miracle. The reality that I was able to get a couple of new pillows overnight via Amazon after ours suffered an accident involving coffee and blood (and DON’T ask me to explain that one) is a miracle. Doctors bringing Damar Hamlin back to life on a football field is a miracle. The fact that my sisters have — between them — two new hips, two new knees, and a new shoulder, and are able to take brisk walks and travel and keep up with their grandkids is a miracle. Every time I watch the sunset in my backyard here in Mesa, I think that the blue and orange sky is miraculous. Every morning when the sun reappears, I am in awe.

When Bill was first diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, I prayed every day for a miracle. Please cure him of this incurable disease. Though he hasn’t been cured, it is a miracle to me that his progression has been slow enough that nearly 14 years after being diagnosed, he is still active. Not active like 14 years ago. But the miracle is that he has progressed slowly enough so that we both can handle the changes. My prayers were answered.

What is a miracle but the hand of God?

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