Philadelphia, PA. In the Scripture, we see our Lord Jesus healing ten lepers (Lk 17:11-19). Nine go on their way, but one returns to give thanks. It is interesting to note, isn’t it–the one who felt compelled to return to thank the Lord for his healing, for what he had done for the man.
This report comes from evangelist Nancy of the Lower Bucks County, Pennsylvania SPSE team:
“Deacon Mark, Don, Bernard, and Nancy served in the St. Paul Street Evangelization ministry at the Fall Festival hosted by St. John Bosco parish in Hatboro. We served alongside the Pontifical Mission Society, helping to remind festival-goers of the reason why the Church stands there today – for love of Christ and Church and the call for all of us to spread the good news of Christ!
On Wednesday evening a young couple came up to us and asked us to pray with them. They told us that the young man of the couple, Christian, needed prayer because he had to go to court on Friday and they were very concerned about charges brought against him and that they needed assistance in praying for an outcome that was desirable. We prayed with the couple that Christian’s hearing would go well. On Saturday this young couple came by, telling us that they knew the carnival was done on this day and that they needed to come back and tell us that our prayers with them were answered, that all worked out beautifully for Christian and the young couple could now get on with their plans for making life together. We spoke with them about how sometimes in life it seems as though the commandments from our Father are just a bunch of rules that God gave us. However, thinking on it more, we can come to realize that God was giving us the path to peace and joy on earth with these commandments, and the wonder of how the world be would so charitable, peaceful and hopeful if everyone would follow these gifts from God. Deacon Mark spoke with the couple about how they may be married in the Church, that an annulment may not be difficult to get, and that he would help them do so if they felt they needed help. The couple told us of how they plan to try and do so, to get married in the Church, and that they also hope to have many children someday also.
On Tuesday an encounter with a woman named Michelle left me thinking. Michelle came up to our prayer station. Her mom Margey is dying of cancer and Michelle is beside herself with grief and fear. She reflected on her anger with God, remarking that He is nowhere for her and her mother. Upon asking Michelle for further details on what she is dealing with in life, such as what cancer is your mom battling, and how old is your mom, we came to realize that she was not in any state to speak of her terrible suffering. Poor Michelle lashed out, what does it matter? Michelle told us that she is sick and tired of people asking these questions, she called them questions that she used to ask, as if somehow it is ok for her mom to die because it is this kind of cancer or because she is this old. Michelle exclaimed that her mom is her best friend and that the doctors took months to figure this out and now they finally did and now Margey is going to die from it soon and Michelle cannot bear to lose her. All that I could offer was kindred sorrow. I told Michelle that I was sorry that I had asked her these questions and I was not sure why I did but that I did not mean to make less of how awful her and her mom’s situation is. She came back a little while later explaining that she was sorry for getting angry. I told her that she was right, that I should have listened more and spoke less, and that I am truly sorry for her and her mom’s suffering, and that I had lost my mom to cancer and that it was awful to see a loved one suffer so. I told her that even when she thinks she is completely alone, she never is, that our Savior Jesus, is with her always, loving her and having complete mercy for her sufferings. I asked her to consider taking a “Beautiful Hope” book from Dynamic Catholic, and she did. I gave her our email address and asked her to consider keeping in touch as we are very concerned and would love to keep in touch with her.
On Tuesday we also were blessed to meet a woman who we prayed with last year. She came up to us and asked if we remembered her from last year, and praise be to God, it was Lauren from last year. This young woman had given birth to her child in emergency, after a horrific car accident. The accident left Lauren with many injuries and difficulties in life. There have been many many times over the past year where I have thought of this woman and prayed for her, never knowing how her life was going but certain that God was listening. This fortunate meeting again makes me realize that she continues to need prayer. I gave her my cell number, hopeful that she will consider following up. Last year we recommended that she get to adoration some and start going to Mass. Perhaps she could use a friend to help with this and will call to make more connection. Come Holy Spirit!”
Praised be Jesus Christ! Many of those we evangelize we often return to thank us for prayers and give account of how their lives have been changed. This is encouraging and edifying! Let us always thank God for the many blessings we have received from His hand, and give Him thanks in all things!