Prayers answered

Many prayers are answered. Jesus and the Apostles came to Jericho and were followed by a great crowd. There was a blind man, Bartimaeus (cf. Mark 10:46-52) begging by the side of the road. He called out to Jesus "Jesus Son of David, have pity on me." The crowd told the blind beggar to be silent but again, he cried out for Jesus' help. Jesus heard him and asked the man what he wanted. "The blind man replied to him, 'Master, I want to see.'" Scripture tells us that the man was healed.

When we call out to Jesus asking for His help, He hears us and he will heal us! Someone I knew well needed help. He was hurting deeply. His main problem was that he was afraid of other people although he was trying very hard to overcome these fears. One of the managers in the company he was working for in New York, a good Catholic, identified a need. He saw this young man struggle and suggested professional help but the young man could not afford this. The manager agreed to help in a wonderful way. He made an arrangement to donate undisclosed sums of money to a Catholic church. In turn, the church agreed to pay for the professional services the young man needed to be at peace with himself. After more than a year of these services, the young man overcame his problems. Jesus answered the prayers of all concerned.

An act of penance, an opportunity for humiliation patiently borne by us could be a reparation for the neglect of someone who lived many years ago, or it can be that for one who is yet to be born. So also, we can pray “after the act we’re praying for has already occurred,” call it “retroactive prayer” or whatever you will. And the person for whom you are praying may already have been healed before you pray. So, yes, in our prayer we come to assist Jesus in redeeming mankind, we make up what was lacking in His suffering on the Cross. (See Col 1:24) Given the state of the World in the 21st Century, we not only can but must assist Jesus in bearing His Cross because His Cross is our Cross!

A friend of mine recently copied me in on an e-mail. "Been meaning to write to you about 'Our Lord's Table Soup Kitchen,' Gifford, (Vero Beach), FL. The soup kitchen, was founded in April 1988 by J. Ralph Lundy (Mt. Zion AME Church) and additional volunteers. My good friend, a St. Helen parishioner, J. Paul Kistler, who felt led by the Lord to find a location and start a soup kitchen was one of those early volunteers.

The soup kitchen has flourished. Paul Kistler performed many, many acts of charity his entire life. When he died his wife, Geri, and I prayed for a "sign" honoring his life.

At the gravesite his casket was covered with a bed of flowers. It was comprised of green leaves and a large number of white rosebuds about the size of a thumb. It was a rather warm, very still, day without any breeze.

When St. Helen Pastor Mike Edwards was at the end of his gravesite service there was a strong gust of wind. As the wind passed over the casket all of the rosebuds spontaneously opened into full blown, large white roses." Mike Battaglini. Used with permission.

That's a beautifully answered prayer at a time when so many reflected on the loss of a father, husband, brother, and friend.

A Deacon-friend introduced me to Paul in 1990 in relation to prison ministry. Paul served as head volunteer at the former Youth Correctional Facility in Indian River County, for 15 years, and I was able to sit in on one session. When I returned from religious life in 2002, I felt a strong desire to get involved in prison ministry and I'm still at it. That's a prayer answered too. Praise God!

People, strangers and friends, ask me to pray for so many who are hospitalized, with serious deseases, cancer, etc., and many times, God brings healing to those folks. Of course I have nothing to do with these healings. All I do is ask Our Lord to help these people out. God does all the healing. It is great when people call us with a "praise report" - that is the news of good tidings in their lives. Then we know once again that the Lord is with us at all times, with everyone. Some cannot see him or feel His presence. We pray that they will receive a healing and then they'll know we all have a great deal to be thankful for.

Oh Lord, please restore my sight!

God bless you, and keep you well!

Fred Schaeffer, OFS
January 15, 2014



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