Thursday, November 22, 2012

For Thy Great Love ...

If we had to name any one thing which seems unaccountably to have fallen out of most men’s practical religion altogether, it would be the duty of thanksgiving.  It would not be easy to exaggerate the common neglect of this duty.  There is little enough of prayer; but there is still less thanksgiving.  For every million of Paters and Aves which rise up from the earth to avert evils or to ask graces, how many do you suppose follow after in thanksgiving for the evils averted or the graces given?  Alas! It is not hard to find the reason of this.  Our own interests drive us obviously to prayer; but it is love alone which leads to thanksgiving.  A man who only wants to avoid Hell knows that he must pray; he has no such strong instinct impelling him to thanksgiving.  It is the old story.  Never did prayer come more from the heart than the piteous cry of those ten lepers who beheld Jesus entering into a town.  Their desire to be heard made them courteous and considerate.  They stood afar off, lest he should be angry if they with their foul disease came too near Him.  Alas! They did not truly know that dear Lord, nor how He had lowered Himself to be counted as a leper for the sons of men.  They lifted up their voice, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.”  When the miracle was wrought, the nine went on in selfish joy to show themselves to the priest; but one, only one, and he an outcast Samaritan, when he saw that he was made clean, went back, with a loud voice glorifying God, and he fell on his face before our Saviour’s feet, giving thanks.  Even the Sacred Heart of Jesus was distressed, and as it were astonished, and He said, “Were not ten made clean?  And where are the nine?  There is no one found to return and give glory to God, but this stranger!” 
How many a time have we not caused the same sad surprise to the Sacred Heart!
      -- All For Jesus, by Father Faber, p161
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The world is full of miracles, and prayers answered.
My friend and dozens of others have been released from St. Joseph’s hospital.  Full wards are now empty beds.  Many with the fungal infection were treated for weeks with toxic medicines, and for the medicines’ awful side effects.  My friend was treated for only eight days, and then suddenly the doctors said:  “That’s enough of the experimental treatments.  Go home, take drugs for the next six months, and we’ll monitor your blood results every couple of weeks, and take additional tests as indicated.”
(I don’t know if the doctors suddenly think that they’ve solved the problem, or that they’ve done what they can, and it is now in God’s hands.)
But my friend, still weak and woozy, went home yesterday --- her birthday.  “Jesus gave me a birthday present,” she exclaimed.
Yes, He did.  He answered our prayers.  And lest we forget, this day reminds us:  give thanks.

Lord, we give Thee thanks for Thy many miracles, for the great and the small that we see all the time, but never stop to ponder, and for those which, no matter how much we might ponder, we will never understand. 
Lord, for Thy great love, we give Thee thanks.
My Jesus, I trust in You.
May the Lord answer in time of trial;
May the Name of Jacob’s God protect you.

- Psalm 20


  1. So glad your friend is alright! Bless you.

  2. Thank you, Jane. Certainly I need many blessings.

    I hired mom's secondary caregiver to come in for a few hours last night, so I could visit my home-from-the-hospital friend. Jeanne's daughter, in from out of town and staying with her, wished to have Thanksgiving dinner with some old friends, and so I gave her some relief in caring for her mom, Jeanne. Jeanne's son brought a Thanksgiving dinner over for her and stayed a while, but mostly we just sat and watched a nice movie --- although I insisted she continue her exercise routine of getting up and walking around during the commercials. Despite her worrisome condition, Jeanne doesn't exhibit signs of worry; she doesn't rant at doctors or at the sky over her situation. In fact, the only times I recall she DOES rant is when she rants at me --- because I was ranting over something, instead of accepting and being thankful for the good things in my life.

    It is good to have a friend who will tell you the truth about yourself. I pray you have good friends, Jane, ones you too are thankful for.