|Elizabeth Matthews with her infant son Brendan in her arms. Today, Brendan is a Legionary religious.|
The following story, written by Regnum Christi member Elizabeth Matthews,
shows how following an inspiration of the Holy Spirit can
sometimes be a matter of life or death.
The Angels’ Nudge
By Elizabeth Matthews
"Three down and one to go.
Oh, but this one I don’t want to put down," I
thought to myself as I gazed into the angelic face
of my infant son Brendan. It was nap time, and
my older children Sean 4, Laura 3, and Patrick, almost
2, were soundly sleeping upstairs.
Getting them all to sleep
at the same time wasn’t easy, so this was a
rare moment I had alone with Brendan. At seven months,
his attention was usually on what his siblings were doing.
I continued to rock him just a few more minutes
as he nestled snugly in my arms, but I knew
if I stayed in the rocker another moment, we would
both be asleep, and I had vacuuming to get done.
It was an unusually warm March day, and I had
plans to get some major cleaning done while my little
Brendan looked up at me with his sleepy
pale blue eyes as I laid him in his crib
by the living room window. Sunlight bounced off the ringlets
of golden blond hair that encircled his head, and I
lingered for one last look, before rushing out of the
room to start cleaning.
"He’ll be asleep soon," I thought,
as I headed into the dining room to start vacuuming.
I was racing the clock to get as much done
as I could before the other children finished their naps.
With four little ones, not much cleaning can take place
while they are awake.
Just a few brief
moments into my grand attempt to conquer the vacuuming, I
stopped and turned it off. Not sure why I did
it, I paused and then reached to turn it back
on. "No stopping," I thought, "I’ve just gotten started." Just
then the phone rang. Unhappy that my cleaning was once
again being interrupted, I ran to the kitchen to answer
the phone. "Hello," I said, hoping this would be a
quick call, and I could return to what I needed
to be doing. "Hello," the voice on the other end
said, "are you Beth Matthews?" "Yes," I replied. Then she
asked, "Are you the person in charge of weddings at
the church?" Somewhat surprised I said, "No," and gave her
the name of the person she was probably looking for.
"Why didn’t she call the church first?" I thought as
I hung up the phone.
Suddenly, I felt a strong
need to check on Brendan. "While I’m in here, I’ll
take a peek at Brendan," I thought to myself. I
have always loved to watch my babies sleep, and to
kiss their little heads. It had only been a few
minutes since I put him down, but I was sure
he was asleep. "One quick look, and then I’ll get
back to work," I thought.
As I walked from the
kitchen, I could see he was lying still in his
crib. I smiled, and whispered to myself, "He’s sound asleep."
As I neared the crib, my smile turned to horror.
Yes, Brendan was motionless but not with sleep. His lips
were purple, and he was not breathing. As a cardiac
nurse, I had done CPR many times but never on
a child. I had no time to think. As I
grabbed him I screamed, "No, God, please, not my baby!"
The next few moments seemed like an eternity as my
hands moved in the way they had been trained. My
heart cried out to God to save the life of
my baby. Suddenly, a dime flew from his mouth to
the floor, and he began to cry. The color returned
to his beautiful face as I collapsed into the rocking
With my baby nestled safely in my arms again
I began to cry tears of sadness at what could
have happened if I had continued vacuuming, tears of love
for the precious life I held in my arms, and
tears of thanksgiving to God for the angels He sent
to stop me from doing what I wanted to do
and brought me back to exactly where I needed to
This article is part of a series about God’s
action in the lives of Regnum Christi members who turned
to him in prayer.