Tag Archives: religion

Prayer Before Surgery with Dad

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My Dad recently had a Nuclear Stress Test and the results showed that his heart isn’t functioning properly. He had not told us that he had been having some shortness of breath and palpitations and such…ugh… They aren’t sure what is wrong — if it’s something with his Quadruple Bypass (that they 10 years ago yesterday), or something new.
In order to discover that, today they will do a Cardiac Catheterization — during which a long thin tube, a catheter, will be inserted in an artery or vein in his groin and threaded through the blood vessels to his heart. This will show them what the issues are. He is deathly allergic to Iodine (which is why he can’t eat shellfish — hives, close his wind-pipe), so they have been prepping him before and will be ready during the surgery for that.
 
There is a chance when they are in there, that if he needs something done (like a stint), it may be taken care of at the time. Not sure. 
 
Dad has been anxious about this. He’s been through it before, and not seamlessly I might add, but with Mom. Without her optimism and “everything will be fine” attitude, he’s certainly feeling it. My Florida brother and I are here, well, to just be here with him.
Dad has had trouble sleeping the past few nights. Before we went to bed last night, I searched for a prayer and found this short yet poignent prayer at Catholic.org:

Loving Father, I entrust myself to your care this day; guide with wisdom and skill the minds and hands of the medical people who minister in your Name, and grant that every cause of illness be removed, I may be restored to soundness of health and learn to live in more perfect harmony with you and with those around me. Through Jesus Christ. Amen.

Into your hands, I commend my body and my soul. Amen.

When we have health scares, it reminds us how out of control we are of our lives, how fragile life is, how quickly things can change. It also can reveal to us how great we are in need of a Savior, how grand our trust needs to be, how loving our family and friends are, and how we need to embrace life and do and say the things we need to right now…not wait for “someday”.

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White Smoke, Bells, New Pope!

It’s a damp, cold night in Rome. But it is not stopping the thousands gathered, that have been waiting, cheering, praying, the hopeful crowds!

The Dean of Cardinals has recently appeared in the balcony window, and announced:

“I announce to you news of great joy.  We have a Pope! …who takes the name Francisco (Francis)”

He is the 1st Pope from Latin America.  He hails from Argentina, the Archbishop of Buenos Aires. Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio. WOW. (Photo credit: CNS)

Francis I
The well-respected Cardinal Edward Egan (Archbishop Emeritus of New York), says of him, “A man who calmly stands for what is right and just…have immense admiration for him, and I think you are going to like him a lot….He’s a very smart man, who will know how to govern…and appoint people who are capable.”

He stepped to the microphone and says, “Buena sera” and the crowd went wild!

What great humility he showed when he began by saying, “I would like to say a prayer for our Bishop Emeritus Benedict XVI,” and proceeded to lead us in saying the Our Father and Hail Mary in Latin.

His second request, “I’d like to ask you to ask the Lord to bless the Bishop,” beseeching the crowds to pray in silence for him.

In a true moment of humility, he bowed down as we, the Church, asked God to bless him as our new Shepherd.

“I’m here to evangelize the city of Rome,” he told the people. BOOM!

And a great blessing was then imparted by our new Holy Father. It was an electrifying moment to see him in his shiny new Pope garb, beginning his new role of leadership in the Church.

One more time he grabs the microphone before departing.

“I leave, thank you very much for your welcoming, pray for me, and I will see you soon…I will pray to the Virgin Mary so she keeps Rome…”

His first appearance has left me this impression that he has a heart of an evangelizer, passionate about the message of the Gospel, very personable, warm, and humble, a snappy dresser, and had a great Italian accent. A Jesuit, he is sure to be an intellectual.  I heard he was very much a follower of John Paul II, and thought to be “too orthodox by some” with a great love for the poor — ’nuff said. WOOT WOOT.

Was it not to St. Francis that God said many years ago, ‎”Francis, go and repair my house, which as you see is falling into ruin.”

As Catholics, we do not believe in coincidence. It is providential that he bears the name Francis, that he is from Latin America, and possesses an amazingly simple, humble spirit.  As another Franciscan buddy, Chris Stefanick, posted today,

As Cardinal he cooked for himself, took the bus to work, refused to live in a palace but lived in an apartment instead.
He is a STRONG and clear moral teacher, unafraid to tackle issues like gay marriage…yet he embodied a spirit of service and of mercy. He showed up at an AIDS hospice to wash the feet of the patients there.
Folks, I think we’ll have a Canonizable Pope here. Glory be to God.

I did not expect to be so emotional, but it was a great moment. A very exciting time for the Church indeed!

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Our Hearts Cry Out: A Response to Newtown Shootings

Yesterday, I was standing in line for Confession before Mass started, trying to complete my Examination of Conscience.  As I did, the names of the victims of the Newtown school shootings were read, as a bell tolled for each one of those souls. Twenty-six souls, twenty-six times the bell tolled for each one.  It struck me, especially juxtaposed to the examination of my Conscience — which arguably seems a slightly used and even slighter formed faculty these days.

I’ve not added more “noise” on the subject of school shootings for good reason, until now, as there’s been more than enough already; but, that doesn’t mean I haven’t thought, prayed, grieved, and done considerable soul searching.  Down in Texas, when my husband and I heard of the news of 26 lives slain in such a horrific and blatant attack on the innocent and defenseless, we held each other and cried.  As we’ve been trying to start our own family, it hits us very hard to see the world that we want to bring new life into with slight to little decaying moral fabric intact.  We are all aware that these are tough times, and at some point I’m sure we all question how much worse it will become before it gets better.

Politicians, Media, the NRA – they all so quickly say what the “problem” is and what laws or changes need to happen to address it.  But, the sad thing is, so many point to the symptom of the problem, and not the actual root of the problem.  The scriptures and moral Theology and Philosophy tell us that no object is evil in and of itself — it is our fallen nature and inclinations from the human heart that all too often tend towards evil.

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What does that tell us? The gun and access to it is unfortunately not the biggest problem we have. It is addressing what is in the hearts of people. And that, friends, is a much bigger and challenging problem to tackle.  No law from man can change the human heart–only God’s laws–which would be his teachings and specifically the 10 Commandments.

Yes, the good ol’ 10 Commandments.  Today, the Commandments may mainly (and unfortunately) be known as the things prohibited from being displayed in public.  That’s certainly making our nation a better place now, isn’t it? While some people view them only as a set of antiquated negatives – “thou shalt not this” and “thou shalt not that” – I have learned a bit of their ancient wisdom. God’s laws aren’t meant to cut off our freedom and suppress us like human laws can; no, they are meant to guide us into the best form of freedom – where we are not enslaved by our passions or inclinations towards evil!!

In prayer this morning, I asked the Lord what more can we do, besides have our hearts cry out, send money and gifts, and pray for the families and community of Newtown. In morning prayer today, this scripture spoke to me:

“It is now the hour for you to wake from sleep, for our salvation is closer than when we first accepted the faith. The night is far spent; the day draws near. Let us cast off deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.”

Cast off the deeds of darkness. The more people try to push God, the light in the darkness, out of public places – especially schools – the more the darkness spreads. How does God say we combat that? Put on the armor of light. Armor is defined as coverings formerly worn by soldiers to protect the body in battle. Light can most basically be defined as transmitting a reflection of God’s light. We must cover ourselves in God’s light and love, and transmit it to others.

One more thought from Proverbs 12:20

“Deceit is in the hearts of those who plot evil, but those who promote peace have joy.”

It doesn’t say create an arsenal and have everyone pack heat.  It tells us to become promoters of peace. Am I saying that a gun should never be used to protect someone? No. But is that the answer that will solve all of our problems? Is it? Think about it… I sure have been.

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