Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) returns to work Thursday, nearly a year after suffering a massive stroke. In an interview with the Chicago Daily Herald, the senator revealed that while undergoing physical therapy he often visualized walking the steps up to the Capitol as inspiration.

"I kept imagining going back to work," Kirk said, "and the irreducible physical amount of effort I had to put in."

Kirk tells the paper that before waking up in a hospital bed last January, he saw three angels who asked if he wanted to come with them. "I'll hold off," he said. 

"I would say that I definitely became much more religious," Kirk told the Daily Herald. "They say there are no atheists in foxholes, and this stroke put me into a very deep foxhole. Yet, that feeling of faith sustained me, so I have no feelings of anger or regret."