February 11

Sister Julian Paul from the Dallas branch of the Missionaries of Charity called today telling me that I have been approved to be a Sick and Suffering Co-Worker. I could not be happier! February 11 has now become quite a busy day in my life and that of the Church. There are five significant things going on:

1) It is the commemoration of Our Lady of Lourdes. This is of course known to be a holy site where miraculous cures have taken place. Approximately 7,000 people have sought to have their case confirmed as a miracle, of which 68 have been declared a scientifically inexplicable miracle by both the Lourdes Medical Bureau and the Catholic Church.

2) World Day of the Sick, a day instituted by Pope John Paul II a year after he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. It began on February 11, 1993 which is exactly 9 years after he gave us his Apostolic Letter Salvifici Doloris, On the Christian Meaning of Human Suffering.

3) Pope Benedict XVI resigned from the papacy a year ago today, citing his declining health as his reason for doing so. Today, Pope Francis tweeted “Today I ask you to join me in prayer for His Holiness Benedict XVI, a man of great courage and humility.” I offer up my CF for our Pope Emeritus!

4) The start of my Sick and Suffering Co-Worker link. I have become spiritually linked with Sister Marie Betel as a Co-Worker in helping the poor and needy in St. Louis. We will pray for each other every day, with the goal being the salvation of souls. With me offering up my CF for her work, and with her praying for my patience and perseverance, we can help each other be Christ to the world in our own little ways, and lead souls to Him.

5) My fibro and actual bro David’s birthday is February 10. He turned 26 yesterday! I am blessed to have such a goofy, hilarious, devout, upbeat, caring, genuine, and all around awesome dude as my blood brother, CF brother, and brother in Christ.

There is so much to be thankful for today. In closing I’ll quote this part of Pope John Paul II’s Salvifici Doloris that is beautifully appropriate and hit close to home:

“To the suffering brother or sister Christ discloses and gradually reveals the horizons of the Kingdom of God: the horizons of a world converted to the Creator, of a world free from sin, a world being built on the saving power of love. And slowly but effectively, Christ leads into this world, into this Kingdom of the Father, suffering man, in a certain sense through the very heart of his suffering. For suffering cannot be transformed and changed by a grace from outside, but from within. And Christ through his own salvific suffering is very much present in every human suffering, and can act from within that suffering by the powers of his Spirit of truth, his consoling Spirit.

This is not all: the Divine Redeemer wishes to penetrate the soul of every sufferer through the heart of his holy Mother, the first and the most exalted of all the redeemed. As though by a continuation of that motherhood which by the power of the Holy Spirit had given him life, the dying Christ conferred upon the ever Virgin Mary a new kind of motherhood—spiritual and universal—towards all human beings, so that every individual, during the pilgrimage of faith, might remain, together with her, closely united to him unto the Cross, and so that every form of suffering, given fresh life by the power of this Cross, should become no longer the weakness of man but the power of God.”

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