Called to Be Like Mary, Mother and Bride Through the seasons of my life as…
The Catholic Church teaches that we can be intercessors for others, and that the saints who have gone before us and entered into the glory of heaven can and do help us on our pilgrimage through life to our eternal reward. In the spring of 2014, I suffered a severe nervous breakdown, and what followed was three and a half years of debilitating depression and anxiety, coupled with suicidal ideation. Much like the hemorrhaging woman, the treatments suggested by my doctors, brought me no relief. Fr. Michael Stalla was my Spiritual Director during the last two years of my affliction. Toward the end of my trial, he reached out to one of his favorite saints, Therese of Lisieux, through a novena to her that his mother had taught him as a child. I won’t go into detail here, but suffice it to say that I did receive a miraculous healing in November of 2017.
Fr. Michael had faith when I had none. He stood by me and was a consistent intercessor for me to Almighty God for my healing and wholeness. He, along with a whole host of friends and family were prayed for me, offered sacrifices for me, and fasted for me. Out of their love for me, they turned to God, begging for me to be healed. And God, in his infinite mercy, did heal me. Our prayers and sacrifices have power in that they can, in a mystical way, reach the throne of God and affect the heart of our Creator.
I have read that the saints wait in heaven for someone to “put them to work”. Much like athletes on a sports team, they wait for the coach to “put them in”. The saints love to work for our spiritual benefit. Before her death Therese stated the following. “My mission – to make God loved will begin after my death. I will spend my heaven doing good on earth. I will send a shower of roses.” And Therese did just that, for on the 24th day of the 24 day novena that Fr. Michael said on my behalf, he received an abundance of roses indicating that I would be healed.
Let us never forget the power of our prayers on earth or the power of our friends in heaven. She is my girlfriend, and I anticipate that someday I can thank her in person for helping to save my life.