Tag Archives: terminal illness

Prayer Warrior of the Dying

One of my dear family members is dying. He was diagnosed with a terminal illness many months ago. We were given a general timeframe (1 to 3 years) but also were told by the professionals that it may be only months. This is a cruel illness that slowly takes away everything, even his ability to breath. To add to the painful process, he also suffers from dementia. In case you think he is very elderly, he is not.

Last night, things seem to have turned for the worst. His whole family which is quite large was already planning to gather for Easter. Now, they may be spending time at the hospital. Many of them are wondering if they should be heading home today instead of tomorrow. I think Good Friday is going to have a whole new meaning for them.

I have been praying for complete and total healing for this dear one if it be God’s will. I have pleaded with Fr. Emil Kapaun whose cause for sainthood is underway. I have simultaneously begged that if it is not possible for complete healing, then for his eternal salvation. I have come to the point in my life where I want that for every person and am willing to sacrifice for it.

God knows this about me. He actually wakes me during the night and asks for prayer. I am a busy Mom who doesn’t get enough rest. I really don’t want to wake up in the middle of the night. I know that most people with my vocation as wife and mother are not asked to do this. However, I cannot ignore such a request at such critical times. I am not perfect. Sometimes, I fall asleep praying. Often, my prayer is disjointed because of my drowsiness. But I offer this up to our Blessed Mother who can take all things and make them perfect.

As for my family member who is dying, I pray that he feels relief from the pain. I pray that he knows he is supported in prayer for both his healing and his salvation. I pray that my family who is caring for him can be sustained. I pray.

 

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The Worst News Ever?!

Here’s a roundup of the news I have received from this past week: Stroke. Car accident. Death. Terminal illness. Back strain. Divorce. Alcoholism.

Now, before you think all of these things happened to me, well, they did and they did not. What I mean to say is that I would argue all of this does in some way happen to you when you have a large family full of love and brokenness. Yes, some of the suffering is self-inflicted, but some of the suffering comes on in its own.

Our response to suffering shows a really clear picture of where we stand emotionally, morally and spiritually. It’s why one of my friends who is a Protestant minister likes to perform funerals. She says that it is when the suffering is at its peak, so the people are most open to hearing God’s Word. Their hard hearts have been cracked, just a little, by the loss. They become real again, facing things that they have ignored for a long time.

My prayer has always been to let God help me see through the light of Christ, so that when the suffering comes, whether of my own making or on its own, I am strengthened and can give God glory even in those moments.

I was deeply impacted when I watched a news report about 10 years ago when a man lost his entire family in a freak flash flood which washed his minivan off the highway into flash river in a location where this had never occurred before. During his interview, he explained that he and his wife had adopted many children with disabilities. They were all in the car. When the water came over their car, he could not get to his family because he was sucked out through the front windshield. He watched his wife and all of his adopted children get pushed down into the river in their minivan.

His response was, of course, sorrow. But, he said he could not be mad at God. This happened in his life and he trusted God had a plan for him. He quoted the Bible verse that speaks to trusting in God with all your heart. I had never witnessed what that meant until I saw this man on television. He was that Bible verse.

I pray that God will show me how to trust him in those dark moments. I pray that my prayers for my family bring healing and love. I pray that suffering can be offered up for the whole world and make our world a place of deep, abiding peace. I know suffering will come. I hope that I am ready.