Monday, November 14, 2011

Devotion for today: Oh Lord, I am sick!

Scripture for meditation: Jeremiah 17:14
Heal me, Lord, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for You are the one I praise.

Christ prayed: Luke 22:42-44
“Father, if it is Your will, take this cup from Me; yet not My will but Yours be done.” An angel then appeared to Him from heaven to strengthen Him. In His anguish He prayed with all the greater intensity, and His sweat became like drops of blood falling to the ground.

Pope Benedict XVI stated on May 26, 2008 in Poland:
“Dear friends who are sick, who are marked by suffering in body and soul, you are most closely united to the Cross of Christ, and at the same time you are the most eloquent witnesses of God’s mercy. Through you and through your suffering, He bows down to humanity with love. You who say in silence: “Jesus, I trust in You,” teach us that there is no faith more profound, no hope more alive, and no love more ardent than the faith, hope, and love of a person who, in the midst of suffering, places himself squarely in God’s hands. May the human hands of those who care for you in the name of mercy be an extension of the open hands of God.

Prayer: Prayer for the Restoration of Health
O Sacred Heart of Jesus, I come to ask You for the gift of restored health that I may serve You more faithfully and love You more sincerely. I want to be well if it is Your will and rebounds to your glory. If on the other hand it is Your will that my sickness continue, I want to bear it with patience. If in your divine wisdom I am to be restored to health and strength, I will strive to show my gratitude by a constant and faithful service rendered to You, my loving Savior and Redeemer and my God. My Catholic Prayer Book, 1990

My thoughts: Suffering through a prolonged illness, recovering from a serious accident or  being homebound by an infirmity can drain us of our joy and faith. Pope Benedict XVI reminds us that this is a wonderful opportunity to be witnesses of hope and trust in God if we bear our suffering with patience, offer it up for the intentions of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and utter a thousand times a day, “Jesus I trust in You.” Christ does not ask us to be thrilled with the situation, but He does ask us to abandon ourselves to His Father’s will, as He did.  Just as an angel ministered to Him, so will they help us through this difficult time. We have the promise – the Lord will take care of us. Just believe it.

Your prayer to God: We all suffer physical illness from time to time, and can get depressed in its length and severity.  Let us look to the cross, and unite our suffering with Christ crucified. May we pray daily the words Jesus offered to His Father the night before He died: “Not my will, but Yours be done.”

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