When Fredericik Berretta plunged into the icy waters of the Hudson, God spared his life in an instant—and changed his heart forever.
Frederick Berretta was an amateur pilot himself, so when U.S. Airways Flight 1549 struck a flock of geese and lost both engines, minutes after takeoff from Laguardia Airport on that fateful afternoon of January 15, 2009, he knew before most of his fellow passengers that something was seriously wrong. As the roar of the jets quieted and the aircraft ceased to climb, as the pilot guided the powerless plane towards a desperate crash landing and announced, "Brace for impact," Berretta fingered the prayer book in his pocket and tried to prepare himself for death.
A multitude of thoughts flooded his mind all at once. He reminded himself that the odds of surviving a water landing were slim to none. He thought of his wife and his four children, and how they would miss him. He remembered he had just been to confession and to Mass, and he wondered if his soul would be ready to meet the Lord. And he knew he had to pray.
"God, please be merciful to us, for the sake of your Son," he whispered. "Please spare us. I trust in you. Jesus, I trust in you. Mother of God, please pray for us."
At that very instant, Berretta felt a "push" or "nudge" on his conscience; a state of awareness he'd never before experienced; and a keen realization that he had to do something. But what? Then God's voice sounded strong and clear in the depths of his soul:
"Are you going to accept My will for your life?"
For Frederick Berretta, the events of that fateful January day were the crystallizing moment of a lifetime of conversion. This story tells how he lost his childhood faith and as a young adult embraced a selfish, worldly life, how he suffered through family turmoil and the death of a child, and how by God's grace he slowly returned to the Church, humbled and grateful. God used the "Miracle on the Hudson" to confirm him in his faith and set him on fire to share it with others. Flight of Faith is the inspiring true story of how God works in our lives in simple and extraordinary ways.
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