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July 17, 2008 Edition

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Word to Life
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Prayer to St. Raphael

Understanding and trusting Jesus

Word to Life 

By Jeff Hedglen 

Years ago tragedy struck a family when the son was skipping school and goofing around with some friends and an air-powered BB gun. This was a recipe for disaster. Just before the party ended, the son was shot in the head. The BB hit him in the center of his forehead and went halfway into his brain. He was rushed to the hospital.

By the time I arrived he was in surgery, and I went looking for the family. When I found them the scene was a restless concoction of fear, shock, prayer, tears, blind hope, loss, faith, despair, and numbness. The doctors finally came out and told the family that their son's condition was not good. Even if he survived, they said, there was no guarantee that this honor student would ever walk again, much less finish high school.

July 20, 2008
16th Sunday
in Ordinary Time
Wisdom 12:13, 16-19
Psalm 86:5-6, 9-10, 15-16
Romans 8:26-27
Matthew 13:24-43

But over the next several years, many hours of therapy and hard work saw this young man graduate from high school, and now he is working on his second college degree.

Long after the accident his mother recalled what she felt in that waiting room. She said she had been so numb that she couldn't find the words to pray. This woman who I consider to be deeply faith-filled, wanted to call out to her savior, but no words would come. The only thing she could get her brain to say to God was the prayers of the rosary. Her family had prayed it every time they got in the car when she was a child, and so these prayers were imbedded within her.

For reflection:

• What does knowing that the Spirit intercedes for our inexpressible prayers tell you about God?

• Have you, or someone you know, ever experienced this?

Through the tear-filled prayers of the rosary beads, the Spirit of God interceded for this mother in her greatest hour of need. Just because the right words do not come does not mean the prayer is not prayed. There is no doubt in my mind that the groanings of this mother in the waiting room, while too deep for words, made it to the heart of God.

This column is offered in cooperation with the North Texas Catholic of Fort Worth, Texas.

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This week's readings

Week of July 20 - 26, 2008

Sunday, July 20, 2008
Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Reading I: Wis 12:13, 16-19
Reading II: Rom 8:26-27
Gospel: Mt 13:24-43 or 13:24-30

Monday, July 21, 2008
Reading I: Mi 6:1-4, 6-8
Gospel: Mt 12:38-42

Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Memorial of Saint Mary Magdalene
Reading I: Mi 7:14-15, 18-20
Gospel: Jn 20:1-2, 11-18

Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Reading I: Jer 1:1, 4-10
Gospel: Mt 13:1-9

Thursday, July 24, 2008
Reading I: Jer 2:1-3, 7-8, 12-13
Gospel: Mt 13:10-17

Friday, July 25, 2008
Feast of Saint James, Apostle
Reading I: 2 Cor 4:7-15
Gospel: Mt 20:20-28

Saturday, July 26, 2008
Memorial of Saint Joachim and Saint Anne, parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Reading I: Jer 7:1-11
Gospel: Mt 13:24-30

Pope's Prayer Intentions

July General Intention

Volunteers. That there may be an increase in the number of volunteers who offer their services to the Christian Community.

July Mission Intention

World Youth Day. That World Youth Day in Sydney, Australia may awaken the fire of divine love in young people and make them sowers of hope for a new humanity.

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Prayer to St. Raphael

photo of Pilgrim Icon of St. Raphael

Glorious Archangel St. Raphael, great prince of the heavenly court, you are illustrious for your gifts of wisdom and grace. You are a guide of those who journey by land or sea or air, consoler of the afflicted, and refuge of sinners.

We beg you, assist us in all our needs and in all the sufferings of this life, as once you helped the young Tobias on his travels. Because you are the "medicine of God" we humbly pray you to heal the many infirmities of our souls and the ills that afflict our bodies.

We especially ask your guidance of our diocese as we journey toward the rebuilding of a cathedral bearing your name, and the great grace of purity to prepare us to be temples of the Holy Spirit. As our intercessor, beg the Blessed Trinity to prosper the work of our hands and, above all, to bring us, face-to-face, into their Holy presence.


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