Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Will you join me in prayer?

The Bishop of Raleigh, Michael Burbidge, has requested a novena on behalf of seminarian Philip Johnson to begin November 30 and go through to December 8, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. I've heard of him but have never had the pleasure of meeting him. Before entering seminary, he was in the Navy. He was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour, and has been dealing with this with grace. He keeps a blog, In caritate non ficta, where he chronicles his pilgrimage through life and towards the Roman Catholic priesthood.

I find what he had written back in 2008 particularly moving:

As I deal with a brain tumor, I am not sad that it may eventually cause me to suffer and die. This will eventually happen to all of us, and we must be prepared to face death at all times by remaining in the state of grace. The single worry I face every day is that because of various circumstances - some of which are beyond my control - I may never know what it is like to serve God as the alter Christus I desire with all my heart to be. It brings tears to my eyes to imagine departing this world without pronouncing the words of Christ at the Last Supper, "This is My Body; This is My Blood," before gazing upon Our Eucharistic Lord in the greatest miracle ever known to man. I pray fervently that I may one day have the privilege of absolving sins - even if I only live long enough to absolve one - showing the same mercy that God has so often shown me despite my weaknesses and sinfulness.

Philip is in need of our prayers. Will you join me in prayer? Click here for the Novena prayer.

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