Sunday, February 9, 2014

Unanswered Prayer?

   The following story was passed on to me. It is apocryphal, and alleged to have made the go-round in the early 1990s. With Antipope Francis telling us not to be "obsessed" with "small-minded rules" (i.e. traditional Church teachings on morals), I think a story like this one deserves retelling.

   A very pious Traditionalist nun was praying her Rosary before Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament every day to beseech Him to put an end to cancer. The good sister had lost her parents and one of her seven siblings to the disease, and she was determined to storm Heaven with her prayers. "If enough good Catholics will pray to end this disease, God can't fail to hear and answer us," she said.

   The holy nun was able to get her entire convent behind the movement. "We think this is a very good intention, and we will join you in daily Rosaries before Our Lord in the tabernacle," her fellow religious told her. Soon, every moment not taken up with rules of the order were spent in this most worthy cause. Undaunted, the good sister was able to spread the word to other convents. Soon, there were thousands of religious (nuns and brothers) praying unceasingly to Almighty God for an end to cancer. Years passed, and cancer continued unabated.

   "There must be more we can do!" proclaimed sister. She spoke to Traditionalist priests and Bishops, who agreed to offer the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for this intention at least once a month. "Surely, God will answer our prayers now! Nothing is more powerful than the unbloody Sacrifice of the Cross!" And so, the prayers and Masses continued for years---as did the instances of cancer. "The laity must be involved too," thought our ever so determined sister. She went and obtained permission to approach as many Traditionalist Bishops as possible and request that they instruct their priests to preach about the need for the laity to offer their Rosaries and Holy Communions for the intention that God will end the horror of cancer.

   So it was done. Tens of thousands of laity the world over began offering their Communions, Rosaries, and making Holy Hours for the dreaded disease to end. More years passed, and still nothing changed. Now in her old age, the dear nun was praying before the Real Presence of Our Lord in the tabernacle, and for the first time in her life she felt discouraged. "Oh Lord, I have tried to be a good nun all my life. I love You above all else. I was certain that if I prayed for a good intention, the end of cancer, You would hear and answer it. Not merely because of my unworthy prayers, but all the prayers offered by the nuns and brothers worldwide. The countless Masses offered by Your loyal Bishops and priests, and the prayers of so many laymen and laywomen--could all of this be for naught? Nevertheless, Your ways are not mine, and Thy Will be done."

   All of a sudden, a bright light shone about the tabernacle! The nun was frightened, but she heard the consoling Voice of Christ telling her not to be afraid. "My dear child," Our Lord said to her, "your prayers and those of so many other members of My One True Church have not been in vain. I have sent you the cure for cancer." The nun was shocked. "Did this happen just now My Lord, for I have not heard any news as of this morning about a cure for cancer?" "No," replied Jesus Christ, "I sent it to you several years ago."

   "Several years ago, My Savior?" "Who has the cure? What has been done with it? Why haven't any of us heard anything about it?"  Christ replied, "I sent you the cure for cancer. However, it's not My fault his mother had an abortion."




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