Sunday, February 27, 2011

I'd Appreciate Your Prayers

This past weekend, I made the following announcement at all our Masses:

I think today is a good time to make this announcement. It’s probably better if everyone knows at this point, since there are a number of rumors—false rumors—that are circulating about me and my health.

What is true, unfortunately, is this: about two months ago I was diagnosed as being in the early stages of Parkinson’s Disease.

That’s why I have this resting tremor in my right arm; this also explains some of my residual shoulder problems and some other symptoms I’ve been having for a number of months.

This is the disease Pope John Paul II had; it’s the disease Michael J. Fox has—and a number of other famous people as well.

There’s no cure for it at the present time. They just try to control the symptoms as best they can. God willing, they’ll be able to do that for me and I’ll be relatively healthy and functional for a good long time—for many years (so I guess you’re stuck with me for the foreseeable future!).

In the meantime, I do ask a couple of things from you. First of all, please don’t call the rectory. I don’t need to be inundated with phone calls about this. I know that I have the love and support of most of the people in this great community, and I draw a lot of strength from that.

But I do ask for your prayers—specifically your prayers seeking the intercession of John Paul II.

First and foremost, ask him to intercede for a cure for this disease and the many other serious diseases that people face in our world today. And, secondly, I ask that you pray to him for me, that if it’s God’s will I will receive a miraculous healing. As many of you know, John Paul will be beatified in early May of this year. Beatification is the second of three steps in the canonization process. However, before a person can be beatified, a miracle has to be attributed to their heavenly intercession. Well, in John Paul’s case the beatification miracle was the healing of a French nun who just happened to have Parkinson’s Disease.

I was telling someone the other day, “John Paul healed that nun. I think it’s only fair that he also heal a priest!”

Next week I will put a special prayer in the bulletin that you can say for these two intentions.

Thanks for listening. I feel better now that I’ve said it. And I also thank you in advance for your faithful prayers on my behalf and on behalf of all those who suffer with Parkinson’s.
Fr. Ray

Those of you who read this blog don't have to wait for next week.  Here's the prayer:

O Blessed Trinity, we thank you for having graced the Church with Pope John Paul II, and for allowing the tenderness of your Fatherly care, the glory of the cross of Christ, and the splendor of the Holy Spirit, to shine through him.

Trusting fully in your infinite mercy and in the maternal intercession of Mary, he has given us a living image of Jesus the Good Shepherd, and has shown us that holiness is the necessary measure of ordinary Christian life and is the way of achieving eternal communion with you.

Grant us, by his intercession, and according to your will, the graces we implore, hoping that he will soon be numbered among your saints.  Amen.