Wow, that quote really impressed me...since the discovery of my lymphoma turned out to be purely coincidental. I thought I was having appendicitus...which I wasn't. But a CT scan determined something unusual about my lymph nodes near my diaphragm. That CT eventually turned into a biopsy...and a cancer diagnosis. I got very lucky...to have found it sooner rather than later.
A friend asked me recently, if my illness has changed the way I think about God. Not really. I think I have a pretty healthy and happy relationship with a power greater than myself. But my illness has changed the way I think about other people and their relationship with God...and how much they want to intervene for me...on my behalf...through the power of prayer. That fact has totally blown me away.
Almost all the emails, texts, Facebook postings and cards in the mail, from friends and strangers alike, usually end with the same message...they will keep me in their prayers. And not just their personal prayers.
My name has been enrolled in the League of St. Anthony in Mt. Calvary Wisconsin. My name has also been added to a list under the special patronage of Our Lady of Lourdes in Lourdes France...and at the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows in Belleville Illinois. And the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement will be remembering my name at mass every day and in their good works. I am humbled.
And it isn't just the volume of prayers...but the prayer items that have been sent to me.
First I received an Alex and Ani bracelet from a friend in Rhode Island. It has a sacred dove charm...synonymous with peace, faith, grace and truth.
I also received a bracelet like the one Good Morning America's Robin Roberts wears as she fights the good fight...it reads: Light Love Power Presence RRR
Even though I grew up in the Catholic faith...and have fond and scary memories of the book called "Lives of the Saints"...I have learned about holy people I wasn't even aware of...like St. Peregrine, who was cured of cancerous diseases. I now have a small medal with his likeness on it. And Father Solanus Casey. My sister-in-law sent me a small picture of Fr. Solanus. He was assigned to the St. Bonaventure monastery in Detroit where he spent 20 years in the service of others. He is currently being considered for sainthood in the Catholic Church.
Oh, and it's not just Catholics...but all denominations invoking help and guidance for me. St. John Lutheran Church in Oak Harbor sent me a beautiful prayer shawl from the ladies of the prayer shawl ministry. The idea being that when I wrap myself in the shawl...I am wrapping myself in a hug.
I was also given a huge stack of prayer cards with my name inserted in the first paragraph...to give to people who want to pray for me...but maybe can't find the right words. Although, when it comes to praying, I don't think there are any wrong or right words.
I do absolutely believe in the power of prayer. I am already a product of it. After my older brother was born, my mom was told she probably wouldn't be having any more children. But my mom had her heart set on having a baby girl. So, every Tuesday night she went to church to pray to the Blessed Virgin Mary...that she might some day be blessed with a daughter. And 8 years later, because often these things take time, my mother gave birth to a baby girl...on a Tuesday...in the month of May...Mary's month. Yes, that was me...Mary Beth. Coincidence? Or God's way of remaining anonymous?