The following is the speech Matt wrote for Baccalaureate at high school graduation.
Matthew Ch. 7, verses 7 and 8 - "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find: knock, and it shall be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened."
Nearly two years ago to the day, my life changed completely when I suffered a traumatic brain injury as the passenger in a one car automobile accident. In the prior months, my mind wrestled with my heart. Whatever relationship with God that I had left, diminished more with each passing day, as I found it harder and harder to believe in His existence.
I said that modern science could prove and predict almost anything. Surely, if this "all-mighty" creator did, in fact, exist, the top minds in the world would have a difficult time proving otherwise. But somehow, the otherwise was always put at my attention.
Baptized and raised Catholic, I attended church only when the family attended. More times than not, I complained; cringing at the mention of the possibility that my family would attend Mass that day.
And then came the weekend that the Lord came upon me in the form of a deadly car crash. Paramedics arrived at the scene, prepared to take my lifeless body away in a bag. But something stopped them. A fire started in the engine, and they wouldn't enter the car unless the fire was put out. Thankfully, two angels sent by God himself pulled me from the flaming wreckage.
As my parents were given the news in Tennessee, I fought for my life at the hospital. I was put in a drug-induced coma for two weeks to ease the swelling of my brain. My skull suffered a left parietal-lobe fracture with subsequent bleeding and bruising of my brain.
A little over a week into the ordeal, my parents were given news that even my closest friends have not yet heard. My doctor told them that the situation did not look good for me.
Through the prayers of strangers, friends and family, I made my way out of the hospital and into rehab, where I re-learned how to breathe, walk, talk, eat and carry out every-day activities. The prayers I received continued, and I stand here today, the same person that I was before the accident, now a product of the kindness of everyday citizens and their many prayers to God.
My Lord, God... He saw me slipping away from Him, and got my attention and the attention of many others by displaying His awesome power. He can give us life, but He can also take it away. As He looked at me from above during my struggle, people around me looked up at Him and pleaded for my life. My life was spared by the power of prayer, and the ultimate power of God.
According to modern science, I shouldn't have survived. And I shouldn't have survived as unscathed as I am. The only explanation; God came into my life to tell me that He is here, and loves us no matter what path in life we may be on.
The pain that was suffered during that time was minuscule in comparison to what this event did to my life. This car accident is, in fact, the greatest, most profound event to ever happen to me. It brought friends and family closer together. But more importantly, it carried me back to my Lord, from whom I will never turn away again.
Psalm 23 Verse 4:
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death
I fear no evil
For thou are with me