A few months ago a lady had a Mass offered for her sick brother-in-law who was a cancer patient, she was looking after him, a full time job at that stage.
After Mass a few of the parishioners were invited back to the house for tea & biscuits.
They talked for a while and she shared her concerns for her brother-in-law.
Whilst she was a devout Catholic, he had no time for God at all. A very intelligent man, the living room was filled with plaques and certificates that hailed his achievements in his academic and professional undertakings and as a civic leader and local hero, but faith was absent and she feared for him as he had already exceeded the life expectancy predicted by the doctors, another credit to his will of iron.
That evening he was not at home, but at the hospital scheduled to receive a blood transfusion. The nature of his illness meant that he had a low ìblood countî and so needed regular transfusions.
After tea, the group decided to pray together for a while, first for the lady who was so exhausted in every way and also for her patient. They prayed for the current problem with his blood, also that he would be relieved of his pains and be able to sleep again (it had been almost a year since he had a nights sleep, every few minutes he woke up because of the pain), and also for him to open his heart to God and receive the faith.
Meanwhile in the hospital, at the same time, 9pm, the patient was hooked up to a machine which measured his blood count, while the doctors were preparing for the transfusion. The blood count was measuring a low level, then suddenly it went up and was reading what would be considered Normal. The doctors were a bit baffled by this, but continued with the transfusion. (The patient told his sister-in-law about this strange event, on his return, before she told him that he was being prayed for). That same night he slept like a baby too, and was able to do so in the next few months with little or no pain killers.
The same group of parishioners visited him again after his release from the hospital and whilst he became more open and requested prayers, as he always felt better afterwards, he was still unwilling to believe what God had done for him. (perhaps the blood count machine was malfunctioning, perhaps the pain killers were working better all of a sudden, maybe its psychological , if you know youíre being prayed for maybe it makes you feel better !etc etc) The more people that witnessed to him the wonders of God, the more hardheaded he seemed to become !
Some months passed and on January the 3rd of this year, he passed away.
On January the 2nd he was rushed to hospital with a chest problem, which turned out to be Pneumonia. But on January 1st, at his own request, he was Baptised and became a Catholic:the peace and joy that filled him at that moment visible to all present. The Lord knew the day and the hour and He answers prayers !