Well done, youse guys!

A while back we set up a link to help get some money to a struggling family whose son had developed leukemia. His grandma writes:

I’d like to let you know how things are going with Sam. Two weeks ago he was diagnosed with leukemia. He was able to come home after eight days in the hospital, was home for two days, and then ended up being readmitted when it was discovered at a scheduled blood test that he had a blood sugar of 356. Apparently the steroids are causing this uncommon reaction. He is taking all of this in stride, with good spirits. One thing I appreciate, is seeing Sam’s response to all the outpouring of prayers and concern by so many – many who have never met him. Several churches are planning fund-raisers for him, and a high school classmate of his mom, Abbey, is a cake baker, and is doing a cupcake “event.” Already 150 dozen are ordered! God has so blessed this family through the community. Every time we hear of something new, Sam shakes his head in amazement. He is not one who enjoys attention, and has been generous in sharing gifts people have given with his twin, Joe, and sister, Claire. There is so much good to come from this family crisis. It was wonderful to see this smile return, and the relieved smile of his mom. There will be many challenges ahead, but with God’s help, we will meet them.

You can still financially support the family by going here. Please do. And your prayers are the most important thing of all. Father, heal Sam swiftly through Christ our Lord. Mother Mary, St. Luke, and St. Peregrine, pray for him.

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  • Paul

    Hi Mark:

    Please help me understand something. If someone isn’t healed, that, just like a healing, is God’s will–I presume I have the correct? So why would anyone pray for healing when that could well be contrary to God’s will?

    I could better understand a prayer that said , “God, thy will be done,” a prayer that didn’t specify an outcome, because we can’t know which outcome is consistent with God’s will in any particular case.

    • Mark Shea

      Because a relationship between person makes room for persons to freely express their needs, wants, and desires. So Jesus commands (note the paradox of that) that we freely express our petitions (“Give us this day our daily bread”). “Daily bread” is shorthand for “everything we need”. One thing we need is healing. Sometimes the need is for physical healing and such healing is given. However, physical healings–even resurrections in Lazarus’ case–are only tokens pointing to the real action, which is spiritual healing. Lazarus died again eventually. All physical healing will end in physical death, just as all bestowals of daily bread end in hunger again. That’s because this life is passing and is, by its nature, not going to last. But this life is sacramental and points beyond itself. So we ask, not always sure how God will answer (one answer is “no”, but not all answers are “no”). If the request is contrary to God’s will, then the answer will be “no”. But part of the process of prayer is discerning that will. Mary got a “no” to her petition for more wine at Cana, but she persisted (as, by the way, Jesus mysteriously urges us to do) and the answer turned out to be not merely a “yes” but a spectacular yes that not only consisted of the water made wine but (much more importantly) of the inauguration of Jesus’ messianic mission (which was the real subtext of her petition all along).

      The Church makes bold to say that *every* request for healing will *always* be answered by Jesus (that’s why there is a sacrament of anointing). She is not foolishly saying that physical healing will always occur (though you could flag down almost any priest and probably here some lulu stories). But some sort of healing is always available through the sacrament. We are a species in need of all kinds of healing, but the principle healing we need is spiritual and a sacrament is a guarantee from God that he means to supply it. It just may not be the healing we think we need.

  • Barbara B.


    This is how I see it. Jesus several times in the gospels mentions petitioning. He says at one point, (paraphrase) “You don’t receive because you don’t ask. …Ask and you shall receive. Seek and you shall find. Knock, and the door shall be opened to you.” Even in the Our Father, Jesus taught us to for our daily bread – the most basic of needs. I pray, because when I do, I am acknowledging my powerlessness, and His Sovreignty. And as I pray, I am often drawn closer into seeing His will in a particular situation.