Great news!

This has been a GREAT week!!

First of all, I’d like to thank all of my prayer warriors who I know are praying for me every single day. It is not something I take for granted, and I know that I owe many of the blessings and graces given to me to y’all’s intercession.

“Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.” —Matthew 18:19

Secondly, my FEV1 was up to 33.5% on Friday! My doctor said I am definitely defying expectations. After my collapsed lung episode, he was worried that my lungs may be on the decline, and we were even discussing getting on the double lung transplant list.

Thirdly, I am highly likely to be chosen for the 2015 Lourdes pilgrimage. The pilgrimage is sponsored by the Order of Malta and would be from April 29—May 6, and not to mention is all expenses paid! My interview went very well, and they will let me know some time after the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes (February 11) if I am one of their chosen Malades (literally French for “sick people”).

Fourthly, the trial coordinator from Houston called and told me that I am a prime candidate to get on the new combination drug for cystic fibrosis patients with 2 copies of the Δ F508 mutation. This is an overview of the trial:

“Repairing the defective protein in people with the F508del mutation is a particularly challenging and intricate process. In this mutation, a series of problems prevents the protein from reaching the surface of the cell. Lumacaftor is designed to move the F508del CFTR protein to the cell surface where Ivacaftor can improve its function and help increase the normal flow of salt and fluids in and out of the cell. Participants who took the combination treatment showed significant and consistent improvement in lung function and in other important health measures, including weight gain, and a reduction in the rate of pulmonary exacerbations.”

The trial should start at the end of February!

Fifthly, my niece Christiana Patricia Rain Edwards turned 5 on Thursday! She is growing up so fast!

Christiana

Three Patron Saints

If you read my blog you will have noticed this, but over the past year I have developed special friendships with three saints: St. John Paul II, St. Thérèse of Lisieux, and Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen (who will eventually be a canonized saint, no doubt). It was a rough year health-wise, but spiritually I am in a much better place, mainly because of these three amazing teachers of the spiritual life. They have become the patron saints of my life in ways too meaningful to put into words. Whenever I look up at the night sky and see Orion’s belt, I think of them looking down from heaven.

Three Patron Saints

Here are three quotes, one from each, that I particularly like:

“Illness especially, may be a blessed forerunner of the individual’s conversion. Not only does it prevent him from realizing his desires; it even reduces his capacity for sin, his opportunities for vice. In that enforced detachment from evil, which is a Mercy of God, he has time to search himself, to appraise his life, to interpret it in terms of larger reality. He considers God, and, at that moment, there is a sense of duality, a confronting of personality with Divinity, a comparison of the facts of his life with the ideal from which he fell. The soul is forced to look inside itself, to inquire whether there is more peace in this suffering than in sinning. Once a sick man, in his passivity, begins to ask, “What is the purpose of my life? Why am I here?” the crisis has already begun. Conversion becomes possible the very moment a man ceases to blame God or life and begins to blame himself; by doing so, he becomes able to distinguish between his sinful barnacles and the ship of his soul. A crack has appeared in the armor of his egotism; now the sunlight of God’s grace can pour in. But until that happens, catastrophes can teach us nothing but despair.” —Ven. Fulton Sheen

“For me, prayer is a surge of the heart; it is a simple look turned toward heaven, it is a cry of recognition and of love, embracing both trial and joy; finally, it is something great, supernatural, which expands my soul and unites me to Jesus.” —St. Thérèse

“A source of joy is found in the overcoming of the sense of the uselessness of suffering, a feeling that is sometimes very strongly rooted in human suffering. This feeling not only consumes the person interiorly but seems to make him a burden to others. The person feels condemned to receive help and assistance from others and at the same time seems useless to himself. The discovery of the salvific meaning of suffering in union with Christ transforms this depressing feeling. Faith in sharing in the suffering of Christ brings with it the interior certainty that the suffering person “completes what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions”; the certainty that in the spiritual dimension of the work of redemption he is serving, like Christ, the salvation of his brothers and sisters. Therefore he is carrying out an irreplaceable service.” —St. John Paul II