'Divine Intervention' is the apostolate work and inspiration of Susan Brinkman, a 3rd Order Carmelite. And this is her story:
"Divine Intervention' is a newsletter published every other month and is distributed free-of-charge to people and parishes within 21 states in the USA (at last count) - which includes the diocese of Fairbanks Alaska. It is also being read by people in Puerto Rico and Brazil. The only request I make is that the recipients copy it and give it to people who need it. I will supply up to 300 copies for churches as well.
Divine Intervention actually started out as a little Lenten sacrifice I was going to make - instead of giving up candy and whatever - I thought it would be nice to write up some of the many miracles I've encountered with my distribution of the Brown Scapular (I'm a 3rd Order Carmelite). I wrote it and bought the paper and copied it and put it in the back of my church and then forgot about it. The next thing I knew, everyone was talking about this wonderful newsletter called Divine Intervention and I admit I was a little shocked by that. The next thing I knew, I felt "inspired" to write another issue and then another and another - and each time the distribution got further and further around to our local parishes.
The miracles kept coming and I kept writing them up and now it's four
years later and each issue is 5000 copies going to 21 states and two
following are true stories of answered prayers and miracles
contained in the newsletter 'Divine Intervention.'
New stories will be published periodically.
LAST UPDATED April 7, 2002
"Prayer is the only reason she's in counseling."
A woman recently told me the very encouraging story of her oldest daughter
who got involved in a cult-like situation and abruptly left home. What
a heartbreak! Only a mother could understand it, she said. Even thought
she kept in touch with her daughter by writing letters, the loss of
her daughter was deeply painful. This distraught mother prayed like
never before, begging God for her safe return, and for the strength
to forgive those who lured her daughter into this situation. Although
she was never one to say the rosary, this situation was so bad she forced
herself to begin saying it.
Sure enough, only a few months later, she had an opportunity to see her daughter. It was an amiable and pleasant meeting. They soon began to have lunch together every week and during one of these visits, she mentioned to her daughter that the family was seeing a wonderful Catholic counselor (who just happened to have a strong devotion to Our Lady). Eventually, her daughter agreed to see him too - and even began to attend the family sessions every other week! Even the counselor was surprised and readily admits, "Prayer is the only reason she's in counseling."
This once heart-broken mom still longs for her daughter, but her heart is at peace now. This whole experience taught her the power of prayer, especially sustained and seemingly unanswered prayer. Although it was not always apparent, little by little, God was slowly bringing her daughter home! When asked if she thinks she'll come home for good, this mother says brightly, "I fully expect it!"
St. Rose of Lima,
"I know in my heart the person who stole this purse was blessed."
I was at a meeting when I heard this incredible story told by a woman who really rose to the challenge of one of Jesus' toughest teachings. "Love thine enemies."
One day, her daughter called from school, very upset. Someone had stolen her purse from home room. She had a brand new pair of glasses in the purse along with her I.D., the notes for a term paper due that day and all the money she had raised as part of her responsibility as home room rep. What a disaster!
Both women were certainly angry about it, but after calming her daughter,
this mother decided to sit down and pray. She took out her rosary
beads and , remembering Jesus' instructions to pray for those who
do us harm, she decided to pray for the person who stole the purse
instead of asking for the purse to be returned. As she prayed, she
thought about how terrible it was for a person to be already involved
in petty crimes at such a young age. Maybe it was awful to lose the
purse and its seemingly precious contents, but what about this person's
This mother later wrote me, "I know in my heart the person who stole the purse was blessed, and my family's faith was strengthened because of how everything turned out." But the really interesting part, she says, is that the purse was found in a remote area where people rarely go, and it was found by a teacher with whom her daughter had been having difficulties. "The finding of the purse was a bonding experience for them, and I think it helped make the rest of the year easier."
Jesus assures us that God will show us the same mercy we show to others. In this mother's case, her pleas for an adversary's soul brought an abundance of blessing upon her own!
"...The loving hand of God is with us."
Here's a simple but sincere witness from a woman who refuses to hide her "light" under a bushel basket! "I was searching from information on Catholicism when I came across you (web) page. It is a wonderful, positive idea. I am Roman Catholic and practice my faith as best as I can. I have had cancer, but it was discovered early on. I had a lumpectomy. No lymph node involvement. I know that God and our dear Blessed Mother have helped me all through my life, especially in hard times. Sometimes we don't even realize the hard times we're going through because the loving hand of God is with us. If you can please send me one copy of your newsletter and I will make copies and give it to my friends who are fighting cancer, or who have gone through the battle."
"I hope this is heartening for all those who prayed and worked so hard
for these elections."
The following is a truly amazing story sent to us by a long-time reader who says, "I've often enjoyed reading the miracles in your letter and marveled at the many different ways God answers prayer. But now it's my turn!"
Her story begins in late summer, 2000, just as the race for the presidency was revving up for the "final curve." She writes, "My sister-in-law and I began calling each other long distance every night to pray for the elections. Of course we asked for the Blessed Mother's intercession throughout our time of prayer, and as November 7 approached, our prayers became more and more intense. On the night of the election, after Florida was called for Gore, we prayed desperately - for a second time that night - and began the Divine Mercy chaplet."
We all know the course of events on that evening, and in the following weeks, but she and her sister-in-law continued their prayer and fasting. They sensed a tremendous spiritual battle taking place over our nation. She writes, "In my imagination, I saw hosts of angels, the holy and the fallen, clashing in violent combat over our whole nation. We called on our Lady, Queen of Angels, to send a myriad of heavenly hosts to battle! We prayed for Her Immaculate Heart to Triumph and to prepare the way for her Son to Reign as King of both our nation and our hearts!" Imagine their delight when George Bush was given the Florida electoral votes for the first time on November 26 - the Feast of Christ the King!
Like so many of us, our reader sensed that the end might come on one of the great Marian feasts that were looming in the near future, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception (December 8) and the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Unborn and of the Americas (December 12). She writes, "We began praying for this, and for some sign that our prayers were being heard." The sign certainly didn't come on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception when the Florida State Supreme Court decided in favor of Al Gore! Of course, we couldn't have known at the time that this decision was only paving the way for the case to go to the US Supreme Court, where the decisive vote gave the election to Bush - on the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Patroness of the Americas! As if this wasn't amazing enough, the most incredible part of our reader's story is yet to come!
had taped the first Supreme Court proceeding off public radio, but never
got around to listening to it. One day while writing Christmas
cards, she decided to put on the tape and listen while she worked.
Not long into the proceedings, a soft, angelic voice began to sing a
familiar melody, "Immaculate Mary." At first, she thought the
music was coming from somewhere else, but it wasn't. It was coming
from her radio - from the tape of the Supreme
This was just too strange. Perhaps it would be possible once, but twice? And why didn't the tape pick up anything else, maybe some other music or talking or even a commercial break? Why did it only pick up those two songs?
Our reader concludes, "Maybe it's not utterly impossible, but to me, it's the sign we prayed for! I felt like Our Lady was saying to us, 'Yes, I was at work. I have triumphed. Things are going to begin to improve and thank you for your help!' I hope this is heartening for all those who prayed and worked so hard for these elections. I truly believe this is the beginning of a turn of events in our nation."
We sure hope (and pray) she's right!
Our Lady of the Sacred Heart,
"I consider these miracles to be some of my greatest blessings."
Although God works in mysterious ways, He almost always uses ordinary means to touch our lives, rather than the extraordinary ways that most of us think He will use. As a consequence, we often miss the miracles that are right in front of us because we weren't expecting them to happen the way they did. But this is certainly not the case with the man in the following story who found his greatest blessings in the sermons of a holy and humble priest at Sunday Mass.
He writes, "When I was about 24 years old, we had a very holy priest who could read hearts about spiritual things. He knew what I was thinking, or knew things about my life, at least a dozen times, thereby giving me direction in my life and instilling in me a strong faith.
"One Sunday morning I was thinking, 'Today I will listen to his sermon and see how it applies to me.' Behold if he didn't say in his sermon, 'When you come to church, listen to the sermon to see how it applies to you.'" Another time, while pondering this very extraordinary priest, our reader wondered if, on a particular day, the priest might preach about the Holy Face of Jesus. On the same day that he wondered this, the priest devoted his entire sermon to the Holy Face of Jesus! But the most spectacular event was when our reader was trying to make a decision about changing his job. As he headed fort Church one day, he thought about how great it would be to meet up with this priest somewhere, perhaps at the door of the church, where they might have a few minutes to talk about it, but that's as far as it went. Just a thought. Or so it seemed.
Our reader writes, "Sure enough, he was there at the door (the only time I ever met him at the church door)." They talked about some related things and then, in a very kind and polite way, the priest told him to go back to his old job, put his arm around his shoulders and walked him into church.
Wow! No wonder our reader concludes his story with, "I consider these miracles to be some of my greatest blessings!"
St. Cecilia Parish,
three days and nights, I smelled the scent of roses."
A woman from Baton Rouge, Louisiana sent me this truly comforting story about God's presence in our lives, especially during the most difficult moments. She writes, "I had a wonderful incident happen to me years ago. I was a divorced single mother with four boys and we were having a hard time during that period. It was particularly difficult for one of my teenage sons who was going through the trials of growing up. His father was not in his life very much and I tried everything I could to help him. One night, as I laid down to sleep, I thought about what my alternatives might be. Sadly, I thought that all I could do was send him to his father, who lived in another state. I thought maybe this was the time for them to build a relationship - but I had such a sadness come over me that I had failed my son!
"As I was attempting to sleep, something kept interfering. I opened my eyes and realized that I was smelling a strong scent of roses. I checked my bed covers, all around my room, my clothes. Eventually, I drifted off to sleep. The next morning, when I opened my eyes, the scent was still there! I went to work and the scent was there too! I asked fellow employees if they smelled the roses and they said "no". For three days and nights, I smelled the scent of roses and a peace came over me that made me feel that everything was going to work out. I had been praying to the Lord, the Blessed Mother, St. Therese, the Little Flower of Jesus and all the saints in heaven. I felt it was a sign from heaven. When the scent left, I was a little sad, but I will never forget it as long as I live."
Our reader concluded, "My son did go live with his dad for a while but it didn't work out. When he returned, he was a different teenager. He is now 23 years old and a wonderful young man who lives just a few miles away from me and my new husband of five years. I know that Our Lord, the Blessed Mother, St. Therese, our Guardian Angels and all the saints were taking care of my son and me during that trying time."
How wonderful is our God Who will go to such extraordinary lengths just to let us know He's near!
Our Lady of Blind River Chapel
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
know none of it would have happened without Jesus and His Mother and the
A visitor to our website sent us this happy letter. "I have a story for you about the Brown Scapular. It has truly changed my life! I found one, had it blessed a day or so later, and was shown how to wear it. The very same evening, my mom called me with news of a job opening where she works. I had been unhappy at my old job, but I had been there for so long that I was afraid to leave. But my mom's call set into motion a chain of events that lead to my new job - with less stress and more money! And I know none of this would have happened without Jesus and His Mother and the Scapular. I had no idea!"
St. Peter the Apostle
Brook Park, Ohio
moment the Blood of Our Lord touched his mouth, his entire body shuddered..."
"He was a very special kid," this father said about the twenty-two year old son he lost two years ago. "He was only 12 months old when he suffered his first stroke." The memories were still fresh in his mind, not the years of doctors, cat scans, x-rays and hospital rooms - but the smile that never left the boy's face. "Everyday of his life he had a smile on his face. Everybody loved him!"
It took a long time to discover what was wrong with his son, why he had a stroke at 12 months, lost an eye at 17 months, was bleeding internally at 21/2 years. The list of maladies goes on and on. Eventually, he was diagnosed with an extremely rare disease called Moya-moya," of which there are only 40 known cases. The symptoms were described to me as what appeared to be little puffs of smoke coming out of his blood vessels on x-rays, a rare vascular malformation that is usually confined to the head. In his son's case, it was throughout his body.
Fortunately, he had the support of a deeply religious family who never stopped believing in miracles - of which he had plenty during his twenty-two years of life. But one incident really stands out in his father's mind - the day of his confirmation.
They had been preparing the boy for this sacrament when he suffered a brain aneurysm that put him into a deep coma. For three days he lay in a hospital bed without showing the slightest response. The prognosis was not good and the family decided to ask the hospital chaplain to summon a priest who could come down to the hospital and administer the sacrament of confirmation that his son had so eagerly prepared for. This was a last minute decision and no one was told about it, which was why the family was so shocked to see the boy's uncle arrive at the hospital - the same uncle he had chosen to be his confirmation sponsor! One could easily dismiss this as a coincidental visit - except that the uncle lived more than 100 miles away! No matter what he thought brought him to the hospital that night, God's will was definitely the cause.
The Confirmation service began as soon as the priest arrived. The unconscious boy was anointed with holy chrism and confirmed. When it came time for communion, the priest asked for permission to give him a drop of the Precious Blood, which the doctors permitted. He put a tiny drop of the Blood on his finger, then gently put it between the boy's lips. The moment the Blood of Our Lord touched his mouth, his entire body shuddered so hard that everyone in the room saw it. "People still talk about that moment," his father admitted. "None of us will ever forget it." Even more miraculous was how his son regained consciousness within hours of receiving the sacraments. The doctors were then able to operate on the aneurysm, an operation that added 10 years to his son's life!
In his final six years of life, he suffered an average of 4 to 8 mini strokes a year - but that dauntless smile never left his face. "He touched many people," his father said, "and many people touched him." Two years ago, this courageous young man passed from a world of constant suffering into a life of eternal joy. May he rest in peace.
St. Catherine of Sienna
really are part of a very special family."
This story is so unusual - even for me, the author of a newsletter about God's intervention in our lives - that I had to share it with you.
About a year ago, I wrote a story about a man who turned his life around after getting very sick, and then putting on a brown scapular with the hopes that Mary would save him from hell if he happened to die wearing it. (He didn't die, but Mary saved him anyway!) At the time of our phone interview, he mentioned how much he loved going to Eucharistic Adoration the middle of the night, and how he wished a chapel would open that was closer to his home. As it was, he had to drive quite a distance to find a chapel that was open all night.
A year went by, and I found myself involved in opening a Perpetual Adoration chapel in our parish. Even though I hadn't spoken to this man in over a year, I kept thinking about him and wondering if I should call him because our chapel was only about 10 miles form his home. Finally, one Saturday morning as I was driving home from Mass, the conversation I had with this man once again came into my mind. I decided right them and there to call him. But where did I put his phone number? Just as that question ran through my mind, I remembered a small notepad that I used to keep in my purse around the time when I met him. Was his number in that notepad: and if so, where was the notepad now, a year later? Once again, a thought ran through my mind, that of a little pink plastic basket that I keep in my office closet to hold all kinds of "odds-n-ends." By the time I got home and was walking through the house toward my office, I was muttering to myself, "If I find that notepad in the basket and it has his phone number in it - I'm going to get the willies for sure!"
Sure enough, there was the notepad - in the pink basket - and inside was the man's phone number! I got the willies all right, but I dialed the phone anyway, never expecting that an even greater miracle was about to take place. When my friend came to the phone, I reintroduced myself and told him how often I had thought about him since we began working on our perpetual adoration chapel. At this point, he became very quiet, "You'll never believe this, but I just got back from Mass and right after communion, I prayed to Jesus, 'Please open a perpetual adoration chapel near me!" And now I come home, the phone rings, and it's you telling me that you're opening a perpetual adoration chapel only a few miles away!" Needless to say, we both had the willies then!
friend is a now a regularly scheduled adorer in our chapel. As
for me, well, I learned something very important about God's family
- that it works the same way a human family does - with siblings and
relatives reaching out to help one another when needed - only our communication
is spiritual rather than physical. We really are part of
a very special family!
St. Catherine of Sienna
were evil, taunting voices."
A friend of mine who is a nurse told me about a cardiac patient of hers who once asked, "Do you think I could have died?" "Of course you could," my friend said, knowing of many people who died and come back to life to tell about it. But this man's experience was not like any she had ever heard before. His near-death experience was different - terribly different.
know the light that everybody sees?" the man asked, "Well, I didn't
see any light." He described seeing nothing but darkness - and
hearing people yelling at him, "Come on! We've been waiting for
you!" in voices that weren't kind or inviting. They were
evil - taunting voices. He knew at once where he was headed, but,
by the grace of God, he was spared and came back to life. The
experience instantly converted him. He returned wholeheartedly
to the Faith, determined that the next time he crossed over that invisible
threshold, he was going to see the Light!
St. Catherine of Sienna
arrived home safely, and in one piece, to live my life with my family
with a deeper gratitude...!"
A reader writes about a recent event that might have been a terrible tragedy but, thanks to her faith, turned out to be a real miracle!
It was almost 8:00 p.m. when she left work on this early October evening, and it was pouring rain. She called home to let everyone know she was on her way, then hopped into her car and started off. Although she usually listens to a favorite Catholic station on her way home, this was the International Week of Prayer and Fasting to end abortion, so she decided to sacrifice her favorite radio shows to pray the rosary instead.
It was a heavy downpour by the time she reached the highway and merged her car into the center lane. Traffic was traveling slower than usual because of the weather, which was why it was easy to spot the car that was going so fasts it approached from behind. But there was a buildup of water in the road ahead and it momentarily distracted her. A minute later, as she continued praying the rosary, she looked in the rear-view mirror for that speeding car, but she didn't see it anywhere. Instead, a very bright light suddenly illuminated the entire inside of her car, a light that traveled from left to right, and then turned red. Startled, she looked in the rear-view just in time to see the speeding car skid into the center lane directly behind her, then spin around in a complete 360 turn until it was facing right into the oncoming traffic! She watched in horror as the traffic came flying down the highway, fully expecting to see a major catastrophe right behind her!
But nothing happened! The oncoming cars apparently had enough distance between them and the skidding vehicle to veer out of the way. There was not a single collision - nor did anyone lose control of their car even while traveling at high speeds on a rain-soaked highway!
reader writes, "I truly believe that Our Blessed Mother sent her angels
to prevent an accident from happening that night as a 'thank you' for
praying the rosary instead of listening to the radio." She arrived
home safely, she writes, "And in one piece, to live my life with my
family with a deeper gratitude and a greater appreciation for the Rosary
and Our Blessed Mother's promise to assist all who faithfully recite
know, I really believe it now - about confession and sins being forgiven."
It was 5:00 a.m. on a Sunday morning when I woke up the kids and got everyone ready for a trip to the city to visit the Basilica. No matter how much they grumbled, I was determined to walk a as family through the holy doors to get the Jubilee Indulgence - even though my kids were still too young and my husband's faith had been wavering for some time.
At first, everything seemed to go wrong. There was supposed to be confessions before Mass - which as a requirement for the indulgence - but there was no priest in sight. Then we found out the 8:00 a.m. Mass wasn't even in the Basilica - it was in an adjoining chapel! But the doors to the Basilica were opened so we went in and said our Rosary in the semi-darkness. While meditating the mysteries, I kept looking at a beautiful golden candlestick and thinking , "Look at all gold! That's how pure we have to be!" Thank God for the Jubilee Indulgence that promises complete remission of sins and any temporal punishment due for those sins! After Mass, the priest was only too happy to e hear our confessions and told us where the doors were. A few minutes later, we were walking through them and that was that! The indulgence was ours!
It was when we were heading home that I noticed my husband's fantastic mood. He was so happy! When I said something about it, he admitted, "I never felt like this before." He couldn't get over how happy he was. He said it was the best feeling he ever had. "You know, I really believe it now - about confession and sins being forgiven."
To this day, the great affects of that indulgence have not worn off and his once wavering faith is now firmly back in place!
St. Catherine of Sienna,
never again saw the man's temper the way she saw it during those first
few months on the job."
A friend was having a tough time at her new job. At first, it seemed like the job she had been waiting for - until a few weeks after she started. That's when her new boss' temper began to show. He couldn't seem to tolerate the smallest mistake - even from a newcomer who was still "learning the ropes. " If he found anything wrong, he would tear the whole project apart and make her start over. Sometimes he would get so mad that his whole face would turn red. As she described, "He looked ready to explode."
She had a great devotion to the Little Glower _ faithfully saying the world-wide novena to St. Therese that is prayed from the 9th to the 17th of every month. She decided to ask for help.
the very first day of the novena, her boss' mood seemed to improve.
Day after day, she prayed - and day after day passed without the slightest
sign of his temper! She could hardly believe it! If he got
mad, he either didn't show it or took it out on someone else - but she
never again saw the man's temper the way she saw it during those first
few months on the job.
St. Catherine of Siena,
dark room became full of daylight!"
One of our readers sent two very heartwarming stories about how God intervened in his life. He writes, "My dear wife passed away over a year ago. While she lay dying, I put the brown scapular around her neck. (The promise made by the Blessed Mother, 'Whosoever dies wearing this Brown Scapular shall not suffer eternal fire, but will gain the gift of heaven.') I prayed my beloved wife was in Heaven. In her lifetime, my wife always prayed 'Jesus, Mary and Joseph keep me close to thee and at the time of my death welcome me to heaven.' These were her constant wishes."Before going to bed, I would kneel before the crucifix with tears in my eyes and ask Jesus to give me a sign that my beloved wife was in heaven with Jesus, Mary and Joseph and all the Saints. With my head bowed in reverence, my eyes were closed and I was in complete darkness. Suddenly, the whole area in front of me lit up. The dark room became full of daylight! I tried to open my eyes but I couldn't. The "light" stayed on for about five seconds, then everything went dark again. I believe that this was the sign I was asking for from God."
is impossible with God. I know and I believe."
On another occasion, this reader had an even more powerful experience. In his own words, he writes, "One morning after coming home from Mass, I put a small pot of water on the stove to make instant coffee. I sat down at the table and dozed off for a few minutes.
Suddenly, it seemed as if someone tapped me on the shoulder. I looked up and there, standing on the stairway, was an image of my wife pointing at the stove where the pot was burning and getting red hot. As I turned toward the stove, my wife disappeared.
"I believe that with the help of Jesus, my wife appeared before me to save me and the home from a terrible accidental fire. My dear wife, in her earthly life, was always thinking about her family and in her heavenly life, with the help of Jesus Mary and Joseph, she is still watching over us.
Nothing is impossible with God. I know and I believe."
St. Bede the Venerable
underestimate the power of a Mother's prayer!"
A woman told us about her pregnant daughter who was suddenly showing all the signs of miscarriage. Even her doctor thought she had lost too much blood for the baby to live. But this young woman has a mother of strong faith who wasn't about to give up. She said to her daughter, "I want you to put on this scapular and give yourself and the baby to Our Lady. Who knows? Maybe the baby will still be there." They prayed together and invoked the intercession of Padre Pio. A week later, her daughter returned to the doctor only to discover that the baby was indeed still there! And it was healthy enough that they could detect a heartbeat!
Never underestimate the power of a Mother's prayer!
St. Catherine of Sienna
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