Dealing with Cancer #5, Pray

Lesson #5


The power of prayer is obvious in each of our lives whether or not you are free, open, and willing to acknowledge it.  For years on our home page, we have featured a quote from the late Irish poet, writer, and spiritualist John O’Donohue.

“Prayer is the presence that holds harmony in the midst of chaos.  Every time you pray, you add to the light and harmony of creation.  If you do not pray, if you do not believe in prayer, then you are living off the prayers of other people.”

John O’Donohue, 1956-2008

Prayer has been the ultimate source of my strength on this journey, and I am certain it will continue to be.  I challenge anyone to tell me he made this journey through cancer, or that she knows someone who has without prayer.

“The Leper” by Ron DiCianni

I have verbalized the story of Jesus and the leper to many people.  As it’s told in the Gospels, a leper encounters Jesus and affirms, “If you choose, you can make me clean.”  As Jesus chose to make the leper clean, so, too, I believe he has chosen to make me clean and his healing touch comes from the doctors, nurses, Mrs. tVM, my family, and the friends who surround me.  He has made me clean, and the doctors will confirm it in a few weeks when it’s time for new MRIs and cat scans.  The painting by Ron DiCianni hangs on my bedroom wall.  It is the first thing I see when I rise every morning and the last thing I see when I turn out the light in the evening.

Faith is not without its challenges.  As I proceed through chemotherapy and its effects get harder to bear, I have asked – like Job – “Why me?”  The answer is never clear, but I accept the fact that the answer is too complex for my earthly mind to understand, so I will bear it and hold onto my faith.  Not to do so would send me to deep despair.

I have several prayer-related activities I follow every day.

  • Every morning I light a candle, sometimes for myself, sometimes for another person.
  • Every morning I listen to the meditation offered by the Irish Jesuits on the ‘Pray As You Go’ website.
  • Every afternoon when I take my nap, I pray the rosary.
  • Three times every day, I read the offering from the Vitruvian Man’s Book of Hours.

Each of these activities helps me in its own way. Beyond these things that I use, there are countless opportunities throughout the day to take a much-needed deep breath and pray…. pray for healing, pray for comfort… pray for yourself, pray for those you love]… “Ask and it will be given to you.”

If you are battling cancer or know someone who is battling cancer, if you’re giving care to someone who is battling cancer, your prayers will help that person and your prayers will help you.  If you think that is too simple, you are correct, it is. It’s that simple.

Lesson #5


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  1. Thank you Gene….yes, I am praying for your complete healing!
    Paul Coury

    1. Thanks, Father Paul, You have been a guiding ligth in my spiritual journey for well over a decade, and for that, I am most grateful,

  2. I like that hopeful attitude you presented at the beginning of this page. I will also be praying with you for a positive outcome. Hebrews 11:6 came to mind: “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” A quick personal testimony is that I was introduced to personal prayer when I was at the Academy. I attended a Christian sponsored conference our sophomore year at Estes Park. One speaker talked about Isaiah 6:8: “Who shall I send, And who will go for Us?” I stood up and offered my life to Christ. There was a radical change in my perspective in life after that. The following week I attended a prayer meeting with some other cadets. When I walked in, one of the cadets asked my name. I gave him my name. He recognized my name because he said that group had been praying for me by name. I immediately connected the change in perspective in life I experienced at the conference with people praying for me.