On the way to Jerusalem he was passing along between Samar′ia and Galilee.  And as he entered a village, he was met by ten lepers, who stood at a distance and lifted up their voices and said, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.”

When he saw them he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went they were cleansed.  Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; and he fell on his face at Jesus’ feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan.

Then said Jesus, “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?”  And he said to him, “Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well."

Luke 17:11-19

 

Praised be to Jesus and Mary!!!

I would like to share some good news with everyone that has been praying for me. You knew that we all had covid the 1st week of August 2021 and that I still had the lingering effects of what I would later find out was long-term covid.

My wife and kids prayers and your prayers have helped me receive the grace to stay positive, to be very grateful and not to focus on the difficulties of my life but rather the countless blessings. Every day at some point in the day I have found myself unable to speak and tears flowing as God touched my heart. It would happen sometimes at Mass, during the reading of the Holy Bible, during the meditation on the Sacred Mysteries of the Holy Rosary, or at Adoration. Other times God would make me realize His presence and Merciful Love through the devotion of honoring the 7 Sorrows of Mary’s Immaculate Heart, during the Stations of the Cross and the Divine Mercy Novena and the reading of good books like Saint Faustina’s Diary, Divine Mercy in My Soul.

Six months after I initially got sick with covid I discovered and followed what America's Frontline Doctors said to do. It did help me to avoid getting sick again with the covid flu when the others here got sick; however it did nothing to help ease the long-term covid symptoms.

Then I went to two local doctors and neither knew how to deal with covid nor did they know of a doctor that could help. A couple of months later, as my wife continued to ask more and more people to pray for me, three different people told her of a doctor who was both very knowledgeable of covid and has been successful in helping them recover.

So I went to that doctor in late September of 2022. He examined me and took note of my symptoms which were the following:

I had weakness in my arms and legs, numbness in my arms, loss of balance, my vision coming and going along with severe pain in my eyes. I would walk outside and the outside light would be too much for my eyes as everything I would see would be white washed. In low light conditions I could no longer see and I had illusions of something being there that wasn’t really there. I had severe burning in my brain that would extend to the base of the spinal cord. With that I had trouble with memory, thinking and speaking. When I closed my eyes I had hallucinations. My nervous system made my whole body jerky and shaky. I would have involuntary movements of my arms. My digestive tract was distended and was quivering with pain. I developed GERD. I had tightening of the lungs with a forceful cough when I coughed. I lost a lot of hair. I had relentless sweating alternating from normal to very odd parts of the body which had a strange sulfuric odor. I was extremely sensitivity to both cold and warm temperatures. I had a strange chill in the inside tip of my nose and a loss of smell and taste. Although I experienced this daily, sometimes the intensity of it was only for a few hours.

Then the doctor explained to me that there are 3 stages of covid: the 1st stage he can help me recover from, the 2nd stage he can help me recover from, however with the 3rd stage (aka long-term covid) there is no cure. He told me that I was definitely in the 3rd stage of covid. At that point I was resigned to accept my condition and continue offering it up as I had before. God had helped me keep my mind on thoughts like:

“Your sufferings, accepted and born with unshakeable faith, when joined to those of Christ take on extraordinary value for the life of the Church and the good of humanity” (Pope, St. JohnPaul II), “By the law of nature, there is no pleasure in suffering; but divine love, when it reigns in a heart, makes it take delight in its sufferings.” (Alphonsus Liguori), “For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake.” (Saint Paul the Apostle Phil 1:29), and  “Why must we suffer? Because here below pure Love cannot exist without suffering. O Jesus, I no longer feel my cross when I think of yours.” (Saint Bernadette), and "Pray, pray very much, and make sacrifices for sinners; for many souls go to Hell, because there are none to sacrifice themselves and to pray for them." (Our Lady of Fatima August, 19 1917).

However God had other plans. At the beginning of October (Sunday Oct. 9th, 2022) during the Holy Mass I was listening to the Gospel being proclaimed about the 10 leapers and suddenly realized that the only leper that returns to praise God and give thanks was special. He had the faith in Jesus’ ability to heal him and was so disposed in his heart to receive both the mercy of God to be healed and the greater measure of grace required to be grateful toward God immediately upon realizing he was healed. He was so grateful in fact that instead of staring at the gift of being healed that he just received, “… he turned back, praising God with a loud voice; and he fell on his face at Jesus’ feet, giving Him thanks.” (Lk 17:15-16) I knew that he, who receives great mercy, gives mercy and he who was relieved of such misery would have compassion on those who suffer.

My thoughts turned to, “He might have become a follower of Jesus and he might also be in heaven now and if so, he would have empathy and intercede for me.” At that moment I prayed, “If you who were healed and returned immediately to give thanks to God are in heaven with Jesus now ask Jesus to heal me too or to please give me some relief.” 

Immediately I felt the symptoms leave me. I cried all the way home from Mass and off and on for the entire day. I realized only much later that this all happened on, October 9th, the Feast of Our Champion. Saint Alphonsus Liguori writes in his book The Glories of Mary that God has made her the dispenser of all graces and he quotes many other saints to back this up. 

I believe She obtained the graces for me to receive the insight into a deeper meaning of the Holy Gospel, and helped me receive the grace to think and pray like that. I think that God both inspired the prayer and then He answered the prayer. 

Later a couple of my sons were discussing a true story about a girl in Texas who had a terribly painful stomach disease that was slowly killing her. They had been to doctors and were told there is no cure for it. Later on she fell 3 stories onto her head and died but later came back to life. She was completely cured. My one son pointed out to the other that most likely the reason that Jesus didn’t heal her sooner was that they had to hear from the doctors that there was no cure. I think this may have been true in my case as well.

Again, I am so grateful to God, to the saint that interceded for me, to my wife and children and to all of you who have been praying for me. Your prayers have blessed me spiritually in so many ways. I also have and will continue to keep each of you in my prayers. Please continue to pray for us.

Again, with love and gratitude for all the prayers,

Richard