St. Michael Prayer

St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do, thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the Power of God, cast into hell satan and all of the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

Glory to God in the Highest!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Tammy and Our Lady of Guadalupe

I had a friend who was diagnosed with advanced stage lung cancer at age 45.  She had never smoked, not even once, and when she was diagnosed, all of us cringed.  Her diagnosis was a shock to everyone.  She suffered greatly through her cancer journey, yet, even in her days of greatest sufferings, Tammy was consoled by her faith. 

Tammy had been an adult convert to Catholicism.  Like so many who have been received into the church at a later age, her faith was strong.  She was tested, but she was not found wanting.  Her faith was firm.   Her faith was unwavering.  She trusted God completely.  She gave strength to her family and friends. 

As her cancer progressed, she had one wish, and that was to go to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico.  The doctors advised against traveling.  She was very weak.  Tammy spent a lot of time in a wheel chair now, and her family was concerned.  They felt that the trip might adversely affect her precarious health. 

Tammy was not to be discouraged.  Along with her family, Tammy boarded an airplane that would take them to Mexico City.  Once there, she felt a surge of strength to the point where she was able to climb the stairs without help.  Her strength was remarkable!  She was keeping everyone moving, and she was happy.  Tammy prayed many times at the shrine of Our Lady.
Her family prayed for her physical healing.  Tammy also prayed.  As she prayed, she became more peaceful.  Her greatest sorrow was that she would not be able to see her son grow up to be a man.  Yet even in this sadness, an aura of peace surrounded her.  She surrendered all to God.  Her healing became deeper than flesh.  Her healing was in her soul.

As much as her family would have liked to have seen a physical healing for Tammy, Tammy’s cancer continued to spread in her body.  Lesions were found in her brain, and she acknowledged that this was the beginning of the end of her life.  The last time I saw Tammy, she was watching TV in a nursing home.   I came into the room, and her back was to me.  She was sitting directly in front of the television set.  I said, “Hi, Tammy.”  She turned her head and looked at me.  She didn’t know who I was.  She smiled and turned back to the program on EWTN.  She loved watching EWTN.  I tried to engage her, but her God was so much more important than I was.  I don’t blame her.  She was Mary to my Martha at that moment.  Even as her brain was affected by the rapidly growing  tumors, her God was there with her, and she knew it! 

A few weeks later, I received the call that Tammy had died earlier that morning.  She left this earth surrounded by love and she leapt into the arms of Love.  Her faith was her fortress.  Her God was her strength and her love.

I don’t know why I’m thinking about Tammy today.  I do miss her.  Her son is now in college.  I know she’d be proud of him!  It's been 8 years since she died.

Tammy reminded me that our Catholic faith is precious, and that our God is trustworthy and full of love.  Tammy understood the wonders of our God, the God who never gives up.  The God who gives strength.  The great I AM.  The cross became her crown. 

Miss you, Tammy! 

Saint Gertrude Prayer
Said to release 1,000 souls from Purgatory each time it is prayed.

Eternal Father, 
I offer you the most precious blood of your Son Jesus,
in union with all of the Masses said throughout the world,
In reparation for sins,
for the Holy Souls in Purgatory,
for sinners everywhere,
for sinners in the Universal Church,
those within my home and within my family.

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