Posted June 13, 2013 in MH Combermere ON:
So Many Prayers

by a staff worker at St. Joseph’s House in 1974.

This month we had the opportunity to visit many of our friends in the valley. We felt strengthened and blessed to discover how many silent prayers rise up to the face of the Father on our behalf each day.

One lady in the nursing home showed us a pink plastic crucifix over her bed, a crucifix that someone from St. Joseph’s House had given her. "I pray for you every day," she said, "for your peace."

For the last eight years, old blind Jim has been confined to bed. He had sometimes managed to take a few steps into the next room, but lately, even that is too much. He is 97 and his faithful wife, only a few years younger. Annie has her sight, but her legs are kind of crippled with arthritis. She manages to get around with a walker.

Each is the joy of the other’s life, and they spend their whole days together. Annie fixes Jim’s pipe, and sometimes she takes a few puffs herself.

When he sleeps, she rests, and when he wakes up, she does, too. Sitting together on the bed, they spend many hours quietly talking or in silence or praying. Not a day passes that they do not say a rosary for St. Joseph’s House.

We visited an old friend, Charlie, who is dying of cancer. He rises at one or two each morning because he can’t sleep and says five rosaries before his wife and children begin to stir around seven.

He told us he says a rosary for us each morning before any of us is awake. His patience with his constant pain is a big inspiration for us.

Our most unique visit was to a man we discovered when we knocked at the door of a tiny house. His hair is pure white and silky, his legs twisted and unable to carry him. He is in a wheel chair.

He seemed eager to talk, so we just sat in quiet awe. He told us about Combermere and the surrounding area and about his life. (He is 70 years old.)

He’s had a very hard life, yet as he spoke, there wasn’t a trace of anger or bitterness. Instead he was filled with a quiet peace that flowed out of him and seemed to melt anything harsh in us. He talked until darkness covered the room, and we heard only his voice. We were reluctant to leave his presence.

He says many rosaries each day, and we asked him to remember us in his prayers. It’s not often that you meet an icon of Christ, but when you do, your heart is forever changed in some way.

There are some friends, too, who don’t talk to us about prayer, but whose lives proclaim the Gospel so clearly you can’t miss it.

Like Norma, whose life is given to her father who is crippled with a broken hip, and Tom, who lives in a log cabin with a wood stove and a coal oil lamp, who passes his days listening to gospel music on his battery-powered record player.

There are many such people in the valley. God’s name is hallowed by them; and our lives are mellowed.

From a newsletter, Dec. 28, 1974


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