An unworthy Deacon, named for the brother of God: James, striving to "work out his salvation with fear and trembling" within the Tradition (paradosis) of the Eastern Orthodox Faith. It is a strange and marvelous journey, and I am accompanied by the fourfold fruit of my fecundity. My wife, the Matushka or Diaconissa Sophia, is my beloved partner in the pursuit of Theosis, and she ranks me in every way.
And of course, they HAD to add this bit in there: doctors said the same cannot be hoped for people in a persistent vegetative state, such as Terri Schiavo, the Florida woman who died last year after a fierce right-to-die court battle.
Wanna bet they would have said the exact same thing about Terry Wallis a few months ago? I love it when scientists and doctors speak ex cathedra. Also note how we are told that Terri Schiavo "died"...ummm yes, that's what happens when you starve someone...they just die. I guess I can feel better now - being ridden with plenty of food and mental faculties - about famine stricken people around the world who are...just dying.
Nor do they [doctors, scientists, and politicians OH MY] know how to make others with less serious damage, like Wallis, recover.
This reminds me of a story someone told me about the Kursk Root icon of the Mother of God.
A young mother was driving up a hill with her two small children in the car, when at the top of the hill, they were hit head-on. All three were in a coma. The little boy came out first, a day or two later, then his mother the day after; but the doctors showed the mother an x-ray of the little girl's brain. Where there should have been tissue, there was only water - the brain had liquefied from the force of the crash - and they recommended taking her off life support and letting her die.
Well, the mother knew that the Kursk Root Icon was visiting Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, so she called the monastery and asked for prayers for her daughter, explaining what had happened. Next thing anyone knew, in walked seven Orthodox monks, in full regalia, accompanied by the icon, and they proceeded to serve a molieben around the little girl's bed.
She was three when that happened. When I heard the story, she was seven, tearing around the schoolyard like any other healthy second-grader and giving her parents all the conniptions that a seven-year-old should.