The Journey series
The One Leper
Last week's Mustard Seed revealed my miraculous recovery from years of severe chronic pain. I told of my rejoicing after Fr Larre’s retreat and how others celebrated with me. My wife did not join in; she doubted my cure. She was too used to seeing my crazy antics. On our drive home from church I endured many sceptical and concerned sideways glances. Once home she continued to watch closely for my delusion to subsist. She was ready, at the first sign, to return me to hospital. I assured her, to no avail, that I was healed — she told me I needed to sleep and we would reassess things in the morning.
I decided I needed to pray. I needed to be the one leper who returned to thank Jesus. I learned over my years of suffering that the one place I could escape my wife’s observation was in the bathtub, so that had become my private retreat for uninterrupted prayers. After profusely thanking God for His gift of healing I stopped to listen and the following prayer came to me:
My dearest Lord, I ask that You grant me the honour of allowing me to be Your servant. Make me, like St Francis, an instrument of Your peace.
Take my feet and lead them where You need me to be. Take my hands and guide them to do the work You need to have done. Take my voice, dear Lord, and let it ever praise and glorify Your name and thank You for all Your graces and mercies. Inspire it, dear Lord, to speak the words You need to have said.
Take all my thoughts and my will and replace them with Your own, that I might never offend You again. Take all my senses and let them know only the beauty and goodness of Your creation. Take my mind and fill it with wisdom, that I might understand the needs You have of me and the needs of my fellow man. Take my heart and fill it with a pure and unending love for You and for my neighbour. Take my soul, dear Lord, and fill it with an unshakeable faith in You and in Your holy Church.
I have no merits, Lord, to justify this request; but You are the same God who sent Your Son, Jesus Christ, to suffer rejection, betrayal, humiliation, torture and death so that I might be saved. I beg You, therefore, through that same Divine Mercy, to grant that I might bear true fruit of Your vine, so that all who approach me may receive the seed of wisdom in their mind, the seed of love in their heart and the seed of faith in their soul and that they might also receive the nourishment that comes from the very roots of Your holy Church, so that those seeds might flourish and mature fully.
Knowing my own nature, Lord, I ask also that You allow Your mother, Mary, to watch over me, gently chastise me, and lead me back to the true path each time I stray.
I ask this in the name of Your Son, my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, the Divine Mercy Himself; who always has been, is, and always will be so good to me.
Next week: What Next?
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Peter T Elliott