My mother recently had cataract surgery. She had refused the surgery for several years, telling her doctor, “Not yet, I can still see O.K.” in the meantime the cataract in her left eye hardened to a point that her doctor had to tell her that the cataract posed a potential threat of causing permanent damage to the eye. So, she consented to have the surgery and scheduled it while I would be home on vacation.
The surgery took place at 8:00 am. When the surgery was over we were told that the surgery went well but that Mother’s heart rate had dropped to 38 during the operation and we were advised to take her to the emergency ward at the hospital to be checked out. Two days later she was dismissed from the hospital and we returned home. The irregular activities in the hospital disoriented other bodily functions, however, and it took two weeks for Mother’s 90-year-old body to re-stabilize. Only then were we able to make a follow up appointment to have the results of her eye operation checked out.
I waited in the lobby while Mother went through the routine eye exam. it was only a few minutes before she rejoined me there to await the doctor evaluation and only a few minutes more before the doctor came out and did something I have never seen done before. He knelt down on one knee to talk to Mother and began by saying that the results of her eye operation were “miraculous”. He asked her if she remembered her eye exam before the operation when she could not read a single letter on the eye chart with the eye that had been operated on. She also had not been unable to tell how many ﬁngers were being held up in front of her. The doctor reminded her that before the operation, when he moved his hand in front of her, all she could say was that she could tell there was some movement there. He then told her that the tests he had just completed show that she now had 20/25 vision in that eye. She can now read again without glasses. Again he said, “It is miraculous.”
It was only after we heard this good news and were on our way home that Mother told me about a new friend she had made. It was someone she learned about shortly after she consented to have the operation and was waiting for me to come home. It was a saint she discovered while reading whom she had not heard of before, St. Odilia. She told me St. Odilia is honored as patron saint of eye injuries and other illnesses and that she had been praying to her to intercede for her and she had placed her surgery in her hands. Mother said she did not worry about the outcome after that and was ready to accept whatever the outcome of the operation might me. Well, as always with God when granting his favors, the outcome was more than either of us could have hope for. Even her doctor said it was miraculous. Mother not only continues to pray in thanksgiving to St. Odilia for her regained eyesight but she also prays for her intercession for others she knows with eye elements and other physical illnesses.
It is wonderful to have heavenly friends like St. Odilia. We have so many friends in Heaven ready to intercede for us if we will only pray to them and ask for their prayers. We need not be afraid that God will be jealous of our friendship with the saints He has brought into Heaven with Him. It is His command that we love one another as He has loved us. Befriending individual saints in heaven because they experienced things in their lives similar to things we are experiencing in our lives and requesting their prayers in no way detracts from our love of and devotion to God alone. We are simply accepting the fact that we are all God’s children, here on Earth and in Heaven, and we are to love one another and aid one another on our journey to grow ever closer to God.