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Instrument of Faith, Hope and Love

By Consuelo (Chit) E. Munar

“Miracles happen to those who believe in them” – Bernard Berenson

My stories are about faith, hope, and love, answered prayers, healing and divine intervention. These powerful stories deepen and strengthen our faith and give all of us great hope.

Two thousand years ago, Jesus performed wonderful deeds. His wondrous acts show His powers are divine. The miracles recorded in the Gospels do more than cause awe – they demonstrate divine or supernatural activity at work. Moreover, the miracles definitely play a role in defining Jesus’s identity. He gives sight to the blind, cures leprosy, relieves people in pain, makes the lame walk, casts out demons and brings people back from the dead.

Few years ago, I joined a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, a lifelong dream. My trip to Jerusalem and surrounding areas was, certainly, a great privilege and affirmed my deep Catholic faith. At this time, my intensive study of the Bible including the New Testament during my college years flooded my memory. Far-flung places like Nazareth, Jordan River, Cana, Bethlehem, Jerusalem , Capernaum, Garden of Gethsemane, Sea of Galilee, Dead Sea and others were beyond my expectation to visit and see.

At the entrance of the Church of the Sepulchre in Jerusalem is the Stone of Anointing which tradition believes to be the spot where Jesus’ body was prepared for burial after his crucifixion and death. There I untied the silk scarf I had around my neck, knelt and swiped it through the stone deeply hoping to draw the healing power of Jesus.

In January, 2014, my 62 year old brother , living in California, suddenly got ill, brought to the hospital, had an “open and close cancer surgery.” Further procedures would do more harm than good to him. Doctors refused to provide him chemotherapy and radiation. They claimed it was a waste of time and money because his days are numbered, perhaps, under three months to survive. In his exact words, the surgeon said, “he needed immediately to be transferred to a hospice facility.” All members of my family were devastated.

My RN sister and sister in law pressed and insisted to the doctors my brother will be brought home to be taken cared of and, whatever it takes, he got to receive chemo treatments. I flew to California to be with my brother. I went with him to the hospital each time he received a 5-hour chemo treatment. We walked together daily in the early morning at a nearby park. Our conversation touched different topics and was non-stop. I went with him and his family to church as often as we could. While our family prayed together with him and for him, I would place my silk scarf swiped at the Stone of Anointing on top of his diaphragm where the deadly tumours abound.

According to the doctors, my brother didn’t have much time to live but our family have enough faith. After 14 months, on the feast day of St. Joseph, March 19, my brother called me and asked me a great favour. He said he’s getting very tired and he wanted to go “home.” He requested me to let him go. I wept..I sighed. I felt a lump in my throat. His words were very clear – “I love you dearly.” I heard a click and he was gone. The following day, at dawn, he succumbed to his death.

In another story of faith and hope, I accidentally learned one day about my beloved 38-year old cousin living in Las Vegas thru our hometown website. My eye caught the message, ” get well soon.” What in the world is this all about? On the phone. I talked to his sister for hours on weekends but she never mentioned about her young brother’s medical condition. He had colon cancer. A portion of his colon was surgically removed. Immediately, I took the phone and dialed his number. His wife, a medical doctor, responded to my call and informed me my cousin was in deep depression that he doesn’t want to talk to anyone. ” Tell him it’s me calling,” I insisted.

He finally talked to me and he bluntly told me if I want to see him still alive, I should hurry and go see him soonest. My husband and I drove to Las Vegas for five hours on that Thanksgiving Day weekend arriving at midnight. He was so happy to see us.

We brought a lot of Asian dark green leafy vegetables for him. Growing up, he never liked eating vegetables but with his medical condition, he needed the nutrition of fibre in his diet.

At the end of our 4-day visit, I gave my cousin a novena prayer book to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. He confessed to me he had been out of sync with his catholic faith. I encouraged him to renew his relationship to our ever-living God because He is the Divine Physician, the true healer.

A week after our visit, I received a very emotional e-mail from my cousin. He was deeply thankful. “You’ve been instrumental in bringing me closer to God the Father and His son, Jesus,” he wrote. I felt great, great joy. He said I was a vessel of faith, love and hope. Today he is a brand new person. Not only that he is cancer free; he became a “disciple” of Jesus.

Consuelo (Chit) E. Munar is the past president of the University of the Philippines Alumni Association of Alberta (UPAAA) from 2012-2015. Currently, she is the Chairperson of the Stewardship Committee of the Holy Trinity Parish. She also chairs the Holy Trinity CWL Council Committee on Legislation and Regulations.


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