Posted 10 hours ago
Things changed so quickly this week. Twenty minutes after posting to the carepage about how well Riley was feeling, she woke up with complaints of a headache. After a couple hours of school, she came home not feeling well. We hoped she just had a virus, but she developed high fevers, a bad headache and was unsteady on her feet again. Our happiness turned to confusion and anger. Things weren’t going as we hoped and expected. We feared the good days were gone again.
We prayed, but also had difficulty praying. Feelings of numbness, sadness, and anger clouded our thoughts. We worried for Riley’s health and how we would survive.
For 3 days, she did little more than lie on the couch and watch movies.
Our sleep has been restless and Thursday night Kelly was awakened by Riley mumbling in her sleep. She then heard Ashlyn call out “I don’t want her to go yet!” and Riley soon said clearly “Hi. What’s your name?” Fear of what was happening gripped us, but Riley awakened and remembered nothing. I feel someone visited us that night, but we don’t know for what purpose?
Friday morning brought such anger about what was happening. Our dreams and life seemed to be changing quickly. Kelly called a friend who had been trying to reach her as I had nothing of my strength that I could spare to help her. Her friend helped by promising to pray and believe even when we weren’t able. She asked if we knew what Riley was praying for so we wouldn’t pray for something different. She also told us to pray for guidance and a sign to help us know what to pray for.
Riley says she still prays to be healed down here on earth and for her friends and family to not have cancer. Relieved as her prayer fit ours (yet was even better as she remembered to pray for others also), Kelly went to get the mail. A special package came for us from our neighbor’s Godparents. The enclosed letter was uplifting and the book enclosed was one we have tried to focus on - “Christ the Healer.” With all this we were encouraged to continue praying for earthly healing for Riley.
In the Catholic faith, we believe that saints are able to intercede on our behalf. This can be odd to other faiths, but think of it as asking someone you know who is very spiritual to pray for you. You let all your “friends” now your needs and they too can pray and ask on your behalf. The Blessed Mother asked Jesus to help at the Wedding in Cana. She didn’t tell him what to do, but just presented the problem to Him. She interceded for the wedding couple for something they couldn’t do themselves.
The Catholic church recognizes some as saints after a lengthy review process of their life. The review process doesn’t even start usually until five years after their death. The individuals life has to have been full of heroic virtue and been a role model of Catholic virtues (the candidate is Venerable). If a miracle has been attributed to a candidate posthumously, then the candidate is Beatified. If a second miracle can be proven, the candidate can then be canonized (recognized) as a saint of the Catholic church. The miracles are “proof” that the person has interceded on someone’s behalf after their death.
Today was the Beatification of Pope John Paul II. This was also the celebration of “Divine Mercy Sunday.” In 2000, Pope John Paul II canonized Saint Faustina, a young polish nun whose visions of Jesus Christ revealed to the world the boundless love and mercy of Our Lord. “Mankind will not have peace until it turns with trust to my mercy, “ Jesus said to St. Faustina. John Paul II chose the Sunday after Easter as Divine Mercy Sunday to draw attention to the intimate connection between the Pascal Mystery and the infinite Mercy of God. Filled with loving compassion for all of fallen, sinful humanity, Christ suffered a terrible death on the cross to reconcile the world with the Father. Pope John Paul wrote in 1980 “In this way, redemption involves the revelation of mercy in its fullness.”
To my point, friends at church told us prayers would be offered for Riley at all masses this weekend. We didn’t expect much as it is common to offer a mass for certain intentions, but we were shocked with what was really planned for Riley. Both of our local catholic churches began a Novena for Riley’s healing asking for Blessed Pope John Paul’s intercession. A Novena is a prayer said daily for 9 days (each day representing a month of Jesus in the womb is just one theory on the 9 days of prayer.) Today was the first day and the congregation was asked to join in prayer for the 9 days and repeating the 9 days of prayer until the cure is obtained. Below is the prayer and feel free to join us in this prayer:
“Blessed Pope John Paul, you yourself for so many years, bore a debilitating disease in your body. As a champion and advocate to the children of the world and a witness to hope, we join your devotion and adoration of our Most Blessed Mother.
Please pray with us now for Her powerful intercession, to ask her son Jesus, our Lord and Savior, to look upon Riley with eyes of mercy. For the grace of His healing hands to rest upon her, for His life giving power to flow into every cell of her body and into the depths of her soul.
Restore to wholeness O Lord this life which you have created. Be it not our will but your Almighty Father. We pray now and forever.
Riley could be Pope John Paul’s second intercession for a miracle! Join us celebrating God’s Mercy with us. The prayers have lifted us and given us some added strength. Riley’s symptoms have improved this weekend, her fevers have resolved and her headache has almost completely resolved. We continue to pray for her healing and we ask that you pray with us.
Trusting fully in His Devine Mercy, Kirk and Kelly