I really need to share this with everyone and to thank you for all your prayers. The Lord has worked a miracle in my life.
As you know my mother suffered several strokes and seizures and was in an unresponsive coma. She lay this way for one week. Totally unresponsive and on hospice. I planned her funeral on December 30. I went everyday, for sometimes and hour or more, and prayed in her ear. My priest told me that this is the last sense to go and often times patients can hear us in those moments before death. So I prayed with her many rosaries. I told her that since she was in the space between life and death that she should listen to her Guardian Angel and the Blessed Virgin Mary. I begged her to please, please lay all her sins out. I cried. I asked for nothing from the Lord accept His Will and my mother's conversion.
On New Years Day, I went to visit her and she opened her eyes for a brief few minutes. I thought it was because my son was there and she may have been happy. The next day she was totally out again. The Dr's said this happens sometimes right before death, a person wakes up for a few hours or a day or two and then they are gone. So I just knew in my heart that Thursday or Friday she would be gone.
I had spoken to my priest and he said that I should ask her if she wanted to be Baptized, so I did. I thought she squeezed my hand but I wasn't sure, so I took my doubt as a yes. But we had a huge snowstorm and my priest could not make the drive. My priest said that I could baptize her since it was an emergency. Her death was imminent and he could not get there. So I did that on Thursday night. And I was at peace.
Friday at 11:49 the nursing home called. I was sure the news was of her passing, but the nurse, in surprise, told me mother had woken up and was thirsty. And though I was surprised, I thought this might just be the calm before the storm. So I drove down to see her. She could hardly speak but I put my ear to her face and she said "Father." I asked if she wanted my priest to come and she whispered "yes."
I wasn't really sure about any of this because my mother has been very, very hard hearted. In fact, she has been proud of many of her sins because she thought she was doing the right things. We have talked about this many times over the years. Every month for the past year or two, I have been asking her if she wanted to talk to Fr. and become Catholic and every time she has responded with an adamant "NO!" So I wasn't sure.
When I went on Saturday, she was a little more improved and I asked again. She cried and replied, again, "yes." So I mentioned it to Fr. on Sunday. He assured me that sometimes God has a way of talking to people in that space before death and we must always have hope and faith in His Mercy. So on Sunday, I went again to ask her about Fr. coming and she asked for him again by name.
We made arrangements for Fr. to come on Tuesday night. I believe that my priest, himself, was not quite certain but he came anyway to see her. If she had said no to him or go away, he would have done that. But instead when my mother saw him, she burst into huge sobs and called his name in an audible voice. Up until that moment, her words have been so soft and jumbled that it was hard to understand what she was saying. But this was loud and clear. He agreed to conditionally baptize her. He asked her questions and she clearly responded without my help to all he asked. At the Exorcism, something noticeable and strange occurred. First my mother's feet started jumping. She has been unable to move very much, but this was really clear. Her roommate made a huge gasp. 4 or 5 patients came out of their rooms at the exact same time and one man even asked "what was that?" All the alarms started blaring and the nurses were scrambling. My mother just sobbed.
When Fr. asked her if she was sorry for her sins, she turned her head deliberately to his face, looked him straight in the eye, and said clear in a normal voice, loudly "Yes, I am sorry!" I had been on my knees this whole time and I just placed my face in her hand and started to cry. I could not believe it.
Father gave her the name Clara, after my mother's beloved aunt who converted to Catholicism in 1947. It was to whom I pleaded for intercession to bring my mother to the faith. Mother was able to receive a small crumb of Our Lord in the Eucharist. I cried.
Father left and I remained a few minutes with my mother. She stopped sobbing and her voice got soft again and difficult to understand. But she did say that now she could go see her aunt. So I firmly believe that she understood completely and totally what she was asking and why.
I am sharing this with you for so many reasons. This has changed my faith. I will no longer doubt in anyway that, in those moments before death, that people hear the Word and repent. I understand better the Mercy of God. The Lord indeed desires all men to go to Heaven. I also am committed to more fervent prayer. I believe that my mother's conversion would not have been possible without all our prayers for just that. I believe that this is truly what the Lord desires---that we never stop praying for the conversion of sinners. I also am now aware of the power of a true priest. Over the years, my mother has met and talked to many of our priests. A few, she has known well and liked. She has met my current priest only once or twice and yet she asked for him BY NAME without hearing it from me. My mother can hardly remember her grandchildren's names, yet she could ask for my priest by name whom she had only met 2 times. Also, I have never seen an exorcism like that. I do wholly believe that a demon or demons left my mother and flew down the hall of the nursing home and that a few of the patients heard and felt it. I don't believe it was just a coincidence. There was clearly something going on. The event was witnessed by another person who remarked how weird it was.
Please continue to pray for my mother and the Lord's Will in this situation. I expected that she had woken up just to be properly Baptized and become a Catholic. I expected a call yesterday that she had fallen back into her coma, but instead I received a call from the hospice nurse concerned that she might not need to be on hospice because she was trying now to get up out of bed. I do not know what God has planned. I pray that it is a partial recovery so that she is able to share her dying experience with my Protestant family members. If she is able to do that, many of them may actually convert. That would be another miracle.
With the counsel of my priest, I have decided NOT to tell my brother or her siblings. If she dies, my priest will provide a Requiem Mass for her here and she will go to Georgia for burial. If she recovers enough, then she can share her own conversion story, and I believe she will. Since they are Protestants, if I share it, they won't understand that a true miracle has taken place or they won't believe it at all. They might even harass her when they talk to her. But I am sharing it with you because it is important.
Miracles still happen when there is a true priest and the true Sacraments. Would this have happened if we were still Novus Ordo? I doubt it. Most of the priests don't think that deathbed conversions are necessary and they make little or no effort to ask patients about converting. I know because that was the experience before with a Novus Ordo priest.
So please keep praying.
Thank you St. Joseph, St. Philomena, St. Clare, and Our Most Beautiful Lady for prayers answered.