By Sharon Wilson
Earlier this month my husband had a close call with death. A tumor, overactive parathyroid gland and a Calcium level of 20 (normal is 8-10) caused my husband to become one of those cases that the doctors and their med school students had never seen. It may sound dramatic, but in listening to these professionals, we found out just how lucky he is to be walking around at all and to have escaped without cancer or permanent kidney or heart damage.
Today’s first reading had me thinking about our gratitude and how we are approaching our life differently.
And for this reason we too give thanks to God unceasingly, that, in receiving the word of God from hearing us, you received not a human word but, as it truly is, the word of God, which is now at work in you who believe. 1 Thessalonians 13
We are all called to give thanks to God unceasingly, after all, our very being is a gift from God, but during a crisis sometimes things get lost.
During my husband Dave’s two week stay in the hospital, his surgery and even after his release, I found that I just couldn’t pray. Isn’t it strange, that during a time when I am in great crisis, I found myself unable to even think or do anything other than walk through the day one minute at a time. I brought a rosary with me to the hospital and found myself in the middle of a decade unable to remember any mysteries. I never finished a complete rosary at the hospital and let my mind wander to any bible story that came to me as my focus. I figured the Blessed Mother was leading and taking care of me.
My other saving grace at this time was my group of prayer partners. My WINE: Women in the New Evangelization friends were praying for me when I couldn’t pray myself. For this I am extremely grateful. What a gift to be able to turn to my friends to help me when I couldn’t help myself.
I also reached out to our priest friend who came to visit us in the hospital. He and the Companions of Christ also prayed for Dave. During the prayer at Dave’s hospital bed, he asked for the intersession of Bishop Dudley. Bishop Dudley is not a declared saint, but a local Priest/Bishop that we knew personally and who I believe may some day be a declared saint. He lived his life with such prayerfulness and dignity and he imparted simple, faithful wisdom in so many ways. He suffered many trials and responded to these trials with unceasing joy. Below is a prayer for his intersession and it brought me peace to know that I could rely on others, both on this earth and those heavenly bound, to take up my prayers for me when I could not.
Dave is home recuperating now and we are learning to “give thanks to God unceasingly.” I believe Bishop Dudley could be a great example.
Prayer for the Intercession of Bishop Paul V. Dudley
“Be joyful in hope, persevere in hardship; keep praying regularly.” (Romans 12:12).
Heavenly Father, as Bishop Paul Dudley radiated the joy of Jesus Christ, even in the direst situations, so fill me with Your Holy Spirit that I might always radiate Your joy.
Grant me the grace to persevere in hardships, especially (name the situation). As Bishop Dudley did, may I completely trust Your Divine will and rely upon Your grace and strength to endure joyfully whatever you send me. May that prayer which resonated in the heart of our beloved Bishop Dudley sound in my heart as well: Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make my heart like unto Thine.
Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
Come Holy Spirit, en kindle in me the fire of Your love and renew the face of
* the earth,
* the Church,
* my family,
Come, Lord Jesus.
About the author:
Sharon Wilson – Wife, Mother, Writer, Catholic Speaker, and a WINE Specialist. Sharon has a degree in education and has worked as a freelance writer, Respect Life Coordinator, a teacher, in advertising, radio, buyer and in youth advocacy – She even rode an elephant in the circus once! Sharon speaks, writes and shares about God’s healing and about the great gift of being Catholic at SharonAgnesWilson.com