Let me see if I get this straight. You can qualify to have performed a miracle if someone prays to you and their petitions receive the requested outcome. That, anyway is what might push Archbishop Fulton Sheen over the top to become a full-blown saint:
Bonnie Engstrom, whose completely healthy son, James Fulton, is the stillborn baby allegedly healed through Archbishop Sheen’s intercession, told the Register the family was overjoyed with the news.
“Right now, I am just thrilled. We’re going to have steak for dinner; we’re going out for ice cream — we are just going to celebrate this. It is so exciting,” said Engstom, a mother of six who also blogs at A Knotted Life.
Engstrom told the Register that she and her husband, Travis, had entrusted this particular pregnancy from the outset to the intercession of Archbishop Sheen. Throughout the pregnancy, all the signs pointed to a healthy, normal pregnancy. And then came the delivery, at their home in Goodfield, Ill., on Sept. 16, 2010: Their newborn had no pulse, and for the next 61 minutes, a nightmare unfolded.
Engstrom was going into shock. Travis called 911 and performed an emergency baptism before ambulance crews came to rush the baby to the hospital. Bonnie only had one thought.
“I remember sitting there, on my bedroom floor, saying Fulton Sheen’s name over and over again,” she said. “That was about as close to a prayer I could get.”
Her shock at the unfolding scene made it “impossible for me to think of anything else,” shared Engstrom.
For 61 minutes, James Fulton Engstrom had no pulse and was medically dead, as medical professionals did their best but failed to resuscitate him. The only hope they had was to revive the infant long enough for Bonnie and Travis to hold him and say their brief hellos and good-byes. When the doctors finally gave up and started to certify death, Engstrom said, “that’s when his heart shot up to 148 beats per minute” — just like any healthy newborn.
Engstrom said she later learned that her husband had been fast at work starting a prayer chain in that difficult hour, asking others to pray — all over the world — specifically for Archbishop Sheen to intercede and ask God to save their little boy.
Astonished by James Fulton’s inexplicable return from death, the doctors told the Engstroms that their son must have suffered severe organ damage from the oxygen deprivation and would be severely disabled. Those predictions, however, never came to pass, and their baby was soon weaned off the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit machines and drugs.
“He’ll now be 4 in September,” Engstrom said. “He’s a normal, healthy little boy — just cute and really happy.”
A couple of questions that perhaps only Bryan Cross’ razor-sharp mind can answer: 1) why wouldn’t these folks simply pray directly to God through the name of Christ (and why Fulton Sheen who has been dead for 35 years or why not John Paul II)? 2) how exactly would you verify that Sheen performed this miracle instead of God? 3) If deceased believers can hear our prayers, does that mean they can hear and see whatever we say and do (which is a form of divine omniscience, right)? I mean, if Sheen can hear a prayer, is it possible that my parents can see when I am over the speed limit?
Here’s another reason for being thankful that Christ’s righteousness is all I need to be a saint.