We Are One Body

Art credit: Jeff Acton

God gave me a special gift of praying for others.

On Saturday I texted my friend Maria to solicit some aid for another friend, Gina,  who is going to Arizona to do ministry work. Maria quickly responded with a positive reply, but ended the text by informing me that a mutual friend of ours needed prayer. I will call him John. John has cancer, an aggressive type of this dreaded disease.


In my heart, John is a member of my family; hearing this news brought me to tears. I met John when I started attending daily Mass. He was the sacristan for the 6:30 a.m. service. I knew that he also had the gift of interceding for others. A few years ago, my heart was aching for a family member and I needed prayer to keep from succumbing to defeat in order to focus on the miracles of God.

Spiritual Brother

When I approached John I was in tears, pleading my petition for his care. In that instance, he became my spiritual brother. He would pray for me and I would pray for his wife who was at that time going through cancer treatment. I prayed for her on a daily basis. John would update me on her condition and if the report was negative, I’d go deeper into prayer. Then COVID hit.


COVID did us all a great disservice.  When our church closed its doors we were left without the Eucharist. This unhealthy mandate from our governor caused me great grief.  I not only lost the freedom to attend daily Mass, I lost contact with all the early 6:30 a.m. Mass attendees, which included John. As I mentioned,  John’s wife was going through cancer treatments; when COVID came because of her compromised health condition they stayed home.

The Word of God states that we are one body; therefore when someone is hurting, we feel their pain. A perfect example is  if I wake up with a sore back, the rest of my body will be affected. My mind, my mood, my thinking will all join in this pain. But if I concentrate on prayer, it will definitely change the circumstances. The pain may still be there, but my mind is redirected. We cannot allow self-pity to take over because this will cause you to become self-absorbed.  I know my friend John is trusting God through this horrific trial.

My Health Trials

In  no way could I ever compare my small trial to what my friend John is going through.  What I will convey is that all of our body parts are like the Church of Christ. If John reads this I want to bring humor to his weary heart.

I love to walk, but I don’t particularly  like walking alone. I need a partner when I hit the pavement, so sometimes my husband Mike joins me on a walk. It is inevitable that as we age our bodies will change. The first indication of my deteriorating body started with the toe on my right foot.

Our 2015 pilgrimage group: Fr. Leonard Mary, Carlos (tour guide) me, Natalie, Cathryn, Jim, Joanne, Robert, Linda and Carol

This health issue reared its ugly head several years ago. So when I finally made an appointment with a podiatrist I was diagnosed with hammer toe. Hammer toe is a sneaky disorder, manifesting itself with unusual symptoms; but when it takes hold, it controls how you  walk. As the worn-out toe compensates for dexterity, it curls up and causes imbalance. Many times I’d trip and sometimes I’d fall. I knew I had to correct this health issue, but I waited until I returned from a pilgrimage.


In 2015 our missionary group planned a trip. This was a special trip, and I was committed because I had already paid for it.  I did not have time to plan a surgery and allow for six weeks of recovery. We were on a pilgrimage to visit holy sites where our Blessed Mother had appeared. First we went to France and then on to Spain. You can read about this journey in the Blog titled: The Marian Journey. I never mentioned my toe because so many more important things were taking place, like my wallet being stolen on the second day of the 14- day pilgrimage.

As much as I enjoyed the trip, my toe reminded me daily of how vulnerable I was. Every night I prayed, anointed my foot with holy oil, and doused it with holy water from Lourdes, but nothing was helping. To make matters worse, instead of going to a shoe store that specializes in comfortable footwear, I did the unthinkable. I purchased the most beautiful, fashionable, blue suede loafers. Those stupid shoes started to hurt me from the moment I put them on.

The French Pharmacist 

With the little time in between our visits, I ran into a pharmacy. Using my hands and pointing to my feet I desperately attempted to explain my toe dilemma. “Ahh, yes, I show you,” said the petite pharmacist. The quick cure was a corn cover and the relief lasted maybe five minutes. So the moral of this story is that my entire body was overwhelmed  by this pain.

We truly are one body. We need each other when we are going through trials because sometimes we are too weak, too tired or have simply given up because of our situation. This is when the rest of the body of Christ comes to petition and to intercede which allows us to rest.  Those who you trust will carry the prayer to the throne of God. I will be doing that for John.


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