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Video: Facing Our Immortality

Facing Our Immortality Cancer Ministry

Facing Our Immortality is a cancer outreach ministry for those affected by cancer, either directly or indirectly. We desire for you a sense of community and renewal through Christ, supported by monthly virtual support groups as well as specialized retreats. Peace and Grace.

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Our New Book “Gathering The Light: Treasures Out Of The Darkness”

Announcing a new book by Sr. Anne Marie Walsh, Society of Our Lady Of The Most Holy Trinity (SOLT). These thoughtful reflections have been most helpful to our cherished monthly support group participants. Now these reflections, along with other treasures, are all together in one book to help you on your spiritual journey.

“Gathering The Light” is a collection of articles, reflections and poetry. Many of the articles have appeared in various Catholic publications. It is set up in such a way that it can be used for personal reflection, book studies and support groups.

We have been using a reflection from this collection every time we meet as the “Facing Our Immortality” cancer support group. In the midst of serious illness, or perhaps because of it, the desire to know the deep things of God becomes even more active and especially efficacious.

The format of “Gathering The Light” offers focal points of light meant to help us see what perhaps we have not seen before. Each article, with a few exceptions, hovers around one-thousand words. It is very manageable for busy persons trying to go a little deeper in their relationship with God. At the end, some questions for reflection are provided if needed.

This book is available for purchase from Amazon, please link here – Gathering The Light: Treasures Out Of The Darkness.

In The Heart Of The Blessed Mother,

Sr. Anne Marie Walsh, SOLT

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The Paradox Of True Power: Spiritual Exercise 11/16/20

Facing Our Immortality Support Group Call

Monday 11/16/20 from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm MT (8:30 pm to 10:00 pm ET)

  1. Call Uber Conference at 720-735-7025 or
  2. Online at uberconference.com/facingourimmortality

Opening Prayer:

REMEMBER, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly to thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother; to thee do I come; before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. 

Amen.

The Paradox Of True Power

One of the worst experiences we encounter in life is the feeling of powerlessness in the face of evident evil. In the Old Testament, from Genesis through Exodus, David and the Kings, to the time of Christ, God’s people knew their dependence on the Lord’s omnipotence, and freely implored His mighty interventions. Joshua, outnumbered 5 to 1, yet assured a victory by the Lord, asked Him to hold the sun and moon still so they could finish the battle in daylight, and the Lord obliged, suspending the movements of the heavenly bodies for a day so that it lasted well beyond its normal time. (Joshua 10 )

Perhaps we are now in a time where a full awareness and confidence in God’s power is precisely what we need. We live in the illusion that we have power because of all the marvels of the modern age. But often we find ourselves at the mercy of forces we cannot control.

More than ever, we must see that the most powerful force in the universe abides among us, hidden in our Chapels, in our tabernacles, and even within our very selves. If the physical, moral, psychological and spiritual universe were to show signs of collapse, we would always have a safe refuge in our all-powerful God. The Catechism notes “to confess this power has great bearing on our lives.” (CCC#268)

But there is a paradox. This power which is so near and accessible to us is most fully operative in human weakness. This is clearly seen in Jesus, Who endured the depths of human weakness and apparent defeat. Yet, at the same time, the fullness of Divine power coursed through Jesus for the Redemption of all mankind.

Our Lady testifies to God’s power also by making one of the most beautiful declarations of God’s might at work in human history all throughout her Magnificat.  “He who is mighty has done great things for me…”. “He casts down the mighty, feeds the hungry, sends the rich away empty…”. (Luke 1:46-55)  St. Paul knows this secret too! “I glory in my weakness,” he says, “so that the power of Christ may rest upon me”. (2Cor 12:9)

We are all going to feel our powerlessness at some point as the future continues to unfold and the battle between good and evil intensifies. We will need God more than ever.

We may face multiple Goliaths, Red Seas, famine, war, betrayal, chaos, or more subtle assaults of darkness.  But unwavering reliance on God’s supreme power will change the outcome of every threat and guarantee peace of soul no matter what comes.  

Please reflect in silence for 5-10 minutes on the following questions.

  1. What is your experience of powerlessness? Share a time or two when you felt utterly powerless in the face of something.
  2. Why do you think God is allowing us to experience our powerlessness now, especially as a nation in the face of our current challenges?  
  3. The grand stories of the Old Testament are so inspiring but in many ways they don’t seem real to the age we live in.  We tend to think we can take care of things or that we will eventually find the answer, yet many answers continue to evade us.  What wisdom of God is at work in the way He moves with us today?
  4. In your own life, where has God shown you your utter dependence on Him?  Where do you resist being dependent on Him?  It is easy to say we are dependent on Him when on examination we find we really are not expecting that God will help us in any kind of way, let alone a mighty way.

After each person shares their personal and spiritual reflection, the group discussion can begin. Please allow all reflections to be offered without comment or judgement. God Bless you

Act of Contrition 

O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended You, and I detest all my sins because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell, but most of all because they offend you, my God, who are all good and deserving of all my love. 

I firmly resolve, with the help of your grace, to confess my sins, to do penance and to amend my life.

Amen. 

Please follow us on You Tube. Domus Trinitatis Retreat Center has created a daily Gospel reflection to nourish your soul on a daily basis.

Peace and Blessings from Sr Anne Marie Walsh and Denise Archuleta

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Signs Of The Times: Spiritual Exercise 10/12/20

Facing Our Immortality Support Group Call

Monday 10/12/20 from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm MDT (8:30 pm to 10:00 pm EDT)

  1. Call Uber Conference at 720-735-7025 or
  2. Online at uberconference.com/facingourimmortality

Opening Prayer:

REMEMBER, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly to thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother; to thee do I come; before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. 

Amen.

Signs Of The Times

Cultural upheaval comes to every society as each generation strives to leave its mark, for better or worse.  Pope St. John Paul II has called contemporary western culture a culture of death.  What we may be watching with the current riots and civil unrest is something that can be likened to a kind of terminal restlessness. Anyone who has attended the dying knows what terminal restlessness is:  It describes the end-of-life experience that manifests as pronounced agitation and restlessness.  It can be caused by any number of things that are part of the dying process, from pain, to medication issues, to spiritual and emotional work going on inside the person.

Restlessness is already a general characteristic of our lives in time and it is present in the saved and the unsaved, the holy and the not so holy.  It is present in the individual but also in communities and nations.  St. Augustine, in what may be his most remembered quote, reminds us that our hearts are restless until they rest in God.  In the saints, restlessness manifests as a peaceful excitement or anticipation of the life to come.  In the sinner, it manifests in agitation and anxiety that something isn’t right, something important is missing.  

The story of Nineveh from the old testament is a lesson for us.  On the verge of being destroyed for their sinfulness, the Prophet Jonah preached so effectively that everyone from the King on down repented with sackcloth and ashes.  

They were spared but their conversion didn’t last.  They soon returned to their sinful ways and were visited once again by the prophet Nahum.  This time they did not listen, and they were destroyed.  An alliance of conquered peoples attacked and destroyed the city which had been one of the greatest intellectual and cultural centers of its time.

Which way our society goes, depends on one thing and one thing only:  repentance. Repentance, repentance, repentance!  Fr Michael Scanlan, Steubenville’s former president, and reformer, believed that the biggest need among Christians today is for repentance.  For joy and liberation, for salvation and preservation, for true progress, repentance is the only answer to the discontent and destruction generated by a sin-saturated society. 

Nicolás Gómez Dávila notes that “Modern history is the dialogue between two men: one who believes in God, another who believes he is a god.”  The one who prevails in this now, very heated dialogue will determine whether we are witnessing the terminal restlessness of western civilization dying, or the labor pains of a new birth, a new springtime for the civilization of life and love.

  1. As a person who has battled a deadly disease in one form or another, what values do you bring to the dialogue mentioned above by Davila? 
  2. Looking at the signs of the times, what do you think is the most effective way to influence the secular order with eternal truths?  
  3. We can tend to think that repentance is all about a first conversion away from a sinful life.  We forget that repentance is needed as long as we struggle with active sin in our lives and that it should mark the whole of our relationship with God.  Have you experienced repenting and then returning later to the very thing you repented of?  What did you learn from that?
  4.  As Catholics we often go to Confession with the same things over and over again.  Many times, instead of really repenting, we justify ourselves without  sincerely resolving to avoid a particular sin.  And so, we are back the next time with the same sin.  Can you identify certain stubborn areas in your life where you need ongoing repentance? 
  5. Repentance, when it is real, actually gives birth to joy.  What is the reason for that?
  6.  Why do you think God chose you to live in this time specifically (and not another time)?
  7. Who would you say are the prophets in this day and time?

Act of Contrition 

O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended You, and I detest all my sins because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell, but most of all because they offend you, my God, who are all good and deserving of all my love. 

I firmly resolve, with the help of your grace, to confess my sins, to do penance and to amend my life.

Amen. 

Peace and Blessings,

Sr Anne Marie Walsh and Denise Archuleta

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The Measure That You Measure With: Spiritual Exercise 09/14/20

Facing Our Immortality Support Group Call

Monday 09/14/20 from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm MDT (8:30 pm to 10:00 pm EDT)

  1. Call Uber Conference at 720-735-7025 or
  2. Online at uberconference.com/facingourimmortality

Opening Prayer:

REMEMBER, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly to thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother; to thee do I come; before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. 

Amen.

The Measure That You Measure With   

It is an observable fact that when judging, many of us apply the justice of God to others and the mercy of God to ourselves.  The very things we become indignant about or scandalized by in others, we often dismiss in ourselves with excuses we do not grant to others. 

Jesus plainly tells us the measure we measure with will be measured back to us. (Mt. 7:2) That is most powerfully evident in Jesus’ admonition to Peter: “those who live by the sword will die by the sword.”

On a less lethal level, perhaps you have had the experience of feeling disgusted by a particular behavior in someone, and maybe even commented on or judged them for it, only to soon find yourself struggling with the very same difficulty.  That is a real consequence of judging others. The Lord humbles us with the very struggle we despise in others.

To be clear, this does not mean that we are to move through life without judging.  We are required to make all sorts of judgments.  But as far as judging the hearts, motives, intentions, past or future of another, Jesus has told us that’s not our work.  Our work is to love as He loves.  And He’s been clear about what that means.  Love your enemy, do unto (all) others as you would have them do unto you; Bless your persecutors, do not curse them.  Imitate the Father Who rains on the just and the unjust alike. Forgive 70 x 7…etc.

Watching the ugliness of the political contest these days, the character assassinations, the spirit of accusation and contempt, the unforgiveness which keeps people chained to their past mistakes and forever identifies them by them, the crass language, the manipulative jockeying for advantage and the greedy maneuvering for power, the words of Martin Luther King Jr. bear witness: “hate distorts the personality of the hater.”

“Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.  

He adds: “there is a final reason that Jesus says, ‘Love your enemies.’ It is this: that love has within it a redemptive power. And there is a power there that eventually transforms individuals.”

The civil life of this country could use a double dose of this medicine because, as St. Paul reminds us, if we go on biting and devouring one another, we will be consumed by one another. Gal. 5:15. The measure that we measure with!

Instruction: Please remain in silence and reflect on the material for 5-10 minutes. After this period of silence we can share that which is revealed to us. It is after we have shared our personal reflections that we can begin our group discussion. Thank you.

  1. Have you ever experienced an awareness of operating out of a double standard in your life, whereby you hold people accountable for things you do not require of yourself, or dismiss in yourself?
  2. Has Jesus ever let you be judged by your own judgments?
  3. What is really happening in a situation when you go against your instinctive reactions and follow Jesus’ instructions to disciples to “love your enemies?”
  4. Do you think it might be easier to love an enemy if you can recognize that hatred and negativity have disguised the real person?  How would you pray for them?
  5. The spiritual life is about coming to the full measure of the mature Christ.  Can you identify specific areas in your life where you need to work on measuring up?  

“Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary, Pray for Us.” God Bless you from Sr. Anne Marie Walsh, SOLT and Denise


Gospel for September 14, 2020: The Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross

JN 3:13-17

Jesus said to Nicodemus:
“No one has gone up to heaven
except the one who has come down from heaven, the Son of Man.
And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert,
so must the Son of Man be lifted up,
so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.”

For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him might not perish
but might have eternal life.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world,
but that the world might be saved through him.

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Monthly Spiritual Exercise Group, Updates

Marginalizing God: Spiritual Exercise 08/10/20

Facing Our Immortality Support Group Call

Time: 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm MDT (8:30 pm to 10:00 pm EDT)

  1. Call Uber Conference at 720-735-7025 or
  2. Online at uberconference.com/facingourimmortality

Opening Prayer:

REMEMBER, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly to thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother; to thee do I come; before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.

Marginalizing God   

The marginalization of peoples has been a social justice concern for decades now.  Sometimes the lightning rod is women, sometimes immigrants, sometimes black or brown or minority peoples, as is currently the case, sometimes the working class, sometimes the poor. These issues evoke strong reactions in people, but not always in a right order that is constructive. Cardinal Robert Sarah points out we can quickly multiply sin when we succumb to the temptation to satisfy “our little egotistical or revolutionary passions.”  Further complicating this is our tendency to oversimplify by looking for the nearest possible scapegoat.

A hard truth would resolve all this if we, as a people, could live it even though we have failed to do so for the last two-thousand years. The truth is our problems come first and foremost not from marginalizing others but from marginalizing God, pushing Him to the peripheries of our lives.  God has the answers to everything we need: peace, justice, progress, the true development of peoples, breakthroughs in science, medicine, etc. 

What profoundly influenced the lives of the Saints and made them powerful was an unwavering belief in the words of Jesus Christ: “He who abides in Me and I in him will bear much fruit.  Apart from Me you can do nothing.”  Jn. 15:5 That really means, on our own, we can do nothing!  Absolutely nothing!

“Someone who is close to God becomes powerful; he can conquer the evil that corrodes the world, and he is capable of integrating it into his prayer of intercession.”  Cardinal Robert Sarah 

God not only has the answers to our problems but also to our potential as well.  Imagine man traveling intergalactically, peopling the universe.  Imagine him conquering the riddles of disease and deformity.  Imagine the forces of creation, of science, working for the good; imagine man working with and in God!

C S Lewis noted that “If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next.  It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this world.”

The best possible outcomes are found only in God.  The Israelites of old show us what happens when we look for success, advancement, and happiness solely through our own capacities and vanities: plagues, war, pestilence, chaos, famine, and exile.  Sound familiar?  The most dangerous borders we erect are the ones which fence God off from our lives.  Those are the real walls that need to come down!

Please silently reflect on the questions below:

  1. One way to tell the level of marginalization of God in our lives is to review your day and to note where you were even conscious of the presence of God during the day.  So much of the time we may have a general awareness of His presence, but do we really engage with Him and consult Him throughout the day or do we just go through things on our own?
  2. Have you ever experienced God leaving you to yourself to show you how much you can really do without Him?
  3. Do you know people you would consider powerful in the sense that Cardinal Sarah speaks of it?  What is their relationship to the Lord like?
  4. Has suffering or dealing with illness brought you a closeness to God you might not otherwise have found?

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Garments Of Grace: Spiritual Exercise 07/20/20

Facing Our Immortality Support Group Call

Time: 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm MDT (8:30 pm to 10:00 pm EDT)

  1. Call Uber Conference at 720-735-7025 or
  2. Online at uberconference.com/facingourimmortality

Opening Prayer:

REMEMBER, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly to thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother; to thee do I come; before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.

Garments of Grace   

In the classic fairy tale, “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” a vain ruler is tricked by two weavers into believing he has a set of new clothes.  He parades before the people for their admiration.  The people are afraid to say anything until a child blurts out: “But he’s naked!”

There is a similar deceptive force at work that tries to reclothe believers, and therefore the Church, in unbecoming ways.  Here is one example:

Some circles hold that the Church has become feminized and that is the reason more men don’t participate.  Pope St. John Paul II would surely be surprised by that assessment.  He spent a great part of his pontificate trying to bring the authentic gifts of women more fully into the Church and the world.  His call for the “feminine genius” was as much a call to women to wake up and recognize their real gifts, as it was to men to accept them.  In a word, live the Marian dimension in the Church more deeply and it will go a long way toward sanctifying her.  The call to men is similar.  Live the Christ life heroically and the Church will flourish in a powerful and beautiful way.

The Church is neither patriarchal nor feminized in the negative sense of those words. What we struggle with today is secularism. Secularism wants to tell us who we are by clothing us in its own garments and dividing us from each other. It would reclothe the Church in rags before the masses who are dying for even a glimpse of the stunningly beautiful Garments of Grace that are her incomparable treasures.

“All of us who were baptized into Christ have clothed ourselves with Christ.

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free person, there is not male and female; for we are all one in Christ Jesus.” Gal 3:26-28.  

Our authentic shared identity is as brothers and sisters in Christ, beloved children of the Father!  We cannot let the world “clothe” us in any other way.  If we live out our identity in Christ our relationships become familial, not based in race, gender, ethnicity, socio-economic levels, education, etc., but rather in “graced friendships” which should form the basis of all our interactions with each other.

There will always be attempts to refashion the Church. But the garb of Christ who is poor and glorious at the same time is our true raiment.  We must remember that so we do not end up exchanging our eternal beauty for the glitter of false gold!

Questions for Reflection:

  1. What are the treasures, riches, jewels the Church offers that the world cannot give?
  1. One example is given in the reflection.  What are some other ways the world tries to “reclothe” the Church, or believers?  
  1. What is the meaning of worldly and what is the motivating vision of those who are worldly?  And what is the motivating vision of those who follow Christ?  How does one move in this world without becoming worldly?
  1. We are called to see every person in the goodness of the Father.  This will ultimately heal the divisions we have between ourselves, between peoples and nations, and between generations.  How do we concretely live that?
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IMMACULATE HEART OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

IMMACULATE HEART OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Source: iBreviary

The attention of Christians was early attracted by the love and virtues of the Heart of Mary. The Gospel itself invited this attention with exquisite discretion and delicacy. What was first excited was compassion for the Virgin Mother. It was, so to speak, at the foot of the Cross that the Christian heart first made the acquaintance of the Heart of Mary. Simeon’s prophecy paved the way and furnished the devotion with one of its favourite formulae and most popular representations: the heart pierced with a sword. But Mary was not merely passive at the foot of the Cross; “she cooperated through charity”, as St. Augustine says, “in the work of our redemption”.

It is only in the twelfth, or towards the end of the eleventh century, that slight indications of a regular devotion are perceived in a sermon by St. Bernard (De duodecim stellis).

Stronger evidences are discernible in the pious meditations on the Ave Maria and the Salve Regina, usually attributed either to St. Anselm of Lucca (d. 1080) or St. Bernard; and also in the large book De laudibus B. Mariae Virginis (Douai, 1625) by Richard de Saint-Laurent.

In St. Mechtilde (d. 1298) and St. Gertrude (d. 1302) the devotion had two earnest adherents. A little earlier it had been included by St. Thomas Becket in the devotion to the joys and sorrows of Mary, by Blessed Hermann (d.1245), one of the first spiritual children of St. Dominic, in his other devotions to Mary, and somewhat later it appeared in St. Bridget’s Book of Revelations.

St. Ambrose perceived in her the model of a virginal soul. St. Bernardine of Siena (d.1444) was more absorbed in the contemplation of the virginal heart, and it is from him that the Church has borrowed the lessons of the Second Nocturn for the feast of the Heart of Mary. St. Francis de Sales speaks of the perfections of this heart, the model of love for God, and dedicated to it his Theotimus.

In the second half of the sixteenth century and the first half of the seventeenth, ascetic authors dwelt upon this devotion at greater length. It was, however, reserved to St. Jean Eudes (d. 1681) to propagate the devotion, to make it public, and to have a feast celebrated in honor of the Heart of Mary, first at Autun in 1648 and afterwards in a number of French dioceses.

In 1799 Pius VI, then in captivity at Florence, granted the Bishop of Palermo the feast of the Most Pure Heart of Mary for some of the churches in his diocese. In 1805 Pius VII made a new concession, thanks to which the feast was soon widely observed. Such was the existing condition when a twofold movement, started in Paris, gave fresh impetus to the devotion. The two factors of this movement were first of all the revelation of the “miraculous medal” in 1830 and all the prodigies that followed, and then the establishment at Notre-Dame-des-Victoires of the Archconfraternity of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Refuge of Sinners, which spread rapidly throughout the world and was the source of numberless graces. On 21 July 1855, the Congregation of Rites finally approved the Office and Mass of the Most Pure Heart of Mary without, however, imposing them upon the Universal Church.

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Finding Answers: Spiritual Exercise 06/08/20

Facing Our Immortality Support Group Call

Time: 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm MDT (8:30 pm to 10:00 pm EDT)

  1. Call Uber Conference at 720-735-7025 or
  2. Online at uberconference.com/facingourimmortality

Opening Prayer:

REMEMBER, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly to thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother; to thee do I come; before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.

Finding Answers   

Men and women with brilliant minds have peopled the ranks of science for centuries.  It is rarely mentioned that many of them have steadfastly acknowledged God as the source of the mysteries and marvels of creation they study.  One wonders why the false dichotomy between science and faith persists.  Science explores many things. But it is not the origin of its discoveries.

Little Jacinta Marto, one of the newly canonized shepherd children who received the visitations of Our Lady at Fatima, did not live long after the apparitions. She caught the Spanish flu which was the pandemic at the time, and suffered greatly, offering everything up before dying, to save souls from hell. She remarked that “doctors do not treat their patients with much success because they have no love for God.”  She perceived that too many did not ask Him for help, and discounted the power of His intervention.

Padre Pio, when asked if we would ever find a cure for cancer, is said to have responded that we would, and that it would be so simple that people would question why it hadn’t been discovered sooner.  It makes one wonder if a genuine, humble, heartfelt prayer from a physician or scientist could finally bring an end to one of the most dreaded diseases of our time.

One of the truly great scientists, George Washington Carver, understood this connection well.  Born a slave during the civil war, he lost his immediate family early in life.  As he grew, the scientific bent of his mind along with a living faith in God, became clear.  He revolutionized agriculture in the South, particularly taking crops like the peanut, which was used only for animal feed, and increasing its marketability by researching the multitude of other possible uses.  The beloved staple, Peanut Butter, is one of 300 different uses he proposed after asking God to teach him about peanuts.  (The Aztecs were actually the first to make a peanut paste.) He did the same for crops like sweet potatoes, pecans, soybeans, cowpeas, wild plums, and okra.

In 1924, Carver spoke to over 500 people at the Women’s Board of Domestic Missions:

“God is going to reveal to us things He never revealed before if we put our hands in His. No books ever go into my laboratory. The thing I am to do and the way are revealed to me the moment I am inspired to create something new. Without God to draw aside the curtain, I would be helpless.”

Perhaps this is a secret we need to rediscover again today!

Questions for Reflection:

  1. George Washington Carver was a man of deep faith in both his work and his relationships. What lessons can we learn from him for our own lives and the situation in the world today?
  2. Why do you think science and faith are presented in opposition to each other?  What is the underlying premise for this and is it true or false?
  3. Do you pray for your own doctors and their faith life? Has God ever used you as a witness or channel of grace in relating to them?
  4. What do you think the mission statement of science and medicine should be?

The following Excerpt on George Washington Carver is taken from An American Minute by William Federer.  It is a wonderful witness for today!

“My beloved friend, keep your hand in that of the Master, walk daily by His side, so that you may lead others into the realms of true happiness, where a religion of hate, (which poisons both body and soul) will be unknown, having in its place the ‘Golden Rule’ way, which is the ‘Jesus Way’ of life, will reign supreme…”wrote George Washington Carver to Jack Boyd, a YMCA official in Denver, March 1, 1927.

Carver continued:”… Then, we can walk and talk with Jesus momentarily, because we will be attuned to His will and wishes, thus making the Creation story of the world non-debatable as to its reality. God, my beloved friend, is infinite, the highest embodiment of love. We are finite, surrounded and often filled with hate. We can only understand the infinite as we loose the finite and take on the infinite. My dear friend, my friendship to you cannot possibly mean what yours does to me. I talk to God through you, you help me to see God through another angle … Most sincerely yours, G.W. Carver.”

George Washington Carver was invited to be on the staff of the Tuskegee Institute, founded by Booker T. Washington.

Booker T. Washington wrote: “It is now long ago that I learned this lesson from General Samuel Chapman Armstrong, and resolved that I would permit no man, no matter what his color might be, to narrow and degrade my soul by making me hate him.

With God’s help, I believe that I have completely rid myself of any ill feeling toward the Southern white man for any wrong that he may have inflicted upon my race. I am made to feel just as happy now when I am rendering service to Southern white men as when the service is rendered to a member of my own race. I pity from the bottom of my heart any individual who is so unfortunate as to get into the habit of holding race prejudice.”

George W. Carver wrote to Booker T. Washington, May 16, 1896: “I am looking forward to a very busy, pleasant and profitable time at your college and shall be glad to cooperate with you in doing all I can through Christ who strengtheneth me to better the condition of our people. Some months ago I read your stirring address delivered at Chicago and I said amen to all you said, furthermore you have the correct solution to the ‘race problem.'”

In 1939, George Washington Carver was awarded the Roosevelt Medal, with the declaration: “To a scientist humbly seeking the guidance of God and a liberator to men of the white race as well as the black.”

George Washington Carver was born a slave during the Civil War, possibly around the date of JULY 12, 1865, but there are no records. Within a few weeks, his father, who belonged to the next farm over, was killed in a log hauling accident.

Shortly after the Civil War, while still an infant, George was kidnapped along with his mother and sister by bushwhackers.

Moses Carver, a German immigrant, sent friends to track down the thieves and offer to trade his best horse to retrieve them. Told to leave the horse and come back later, the thieves only left baby George lying on the ground, sick with the whooping cough. George never saw his mother and sister again.

Illness claimed the lives of his two other sisters and they were buried on the old Carver farm. George and his older brother, Jim, were raised on the farm in Diamond Grove, Missouri, by “Uncle” Moses and “Aunt” Sue Carver, who were childless.

In poor health as a child, George stayed near the house helping with chores, learning to cook, clean, sew, mend and wash laundry. His recreation was to spend time in the woods.

George worked his way through grade school, high school and college, eventually joining the staff at Iowa State College of Agricultural and Mechanical Arts.

In the fall of 1896, George surprised the staff by announcing his plans to give up his promising future there and join the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama which was founded by Booker T. Washington.

The staff showed Carver their appreciation by purchasing him a going away present, a microscope, which he used extensively throughout his career.

At Tuskegee, George assembled an Agricultural Department.

He visited nearby farmers and taught them farming techniques, such as crop rotation, fertilization and erosion prevention. Carver noticed that the soil was depleted due to years of repeated cotton growth and produced very poorly.

Also, an insect called the boll weevil swept through the South, destroying cotton crops and leaving farmers devastated.

Farmers heeded Carver’s advice but soon had more peanuts than the market wanted, as peanuts were primarily used as animal feed. George determined to increase the market for peanuts by discovering and popularizing hundreds of uses for them.

He continued: “Years ago I went into my laboratory and said, ‘Dear Mr. Creator, please tell me what the universe was made for? ‘The Great Creator answered, ‘You want to know too much for that little mind of yours. Ask for something more your size, little man. ‘Then I asked, ‘Please, Mr. Creator, tell me what man was made for. ‘Again the Great Creator replied, ‘You are still asking too much. Cut down on the extent and improve the intent.’

So then I asked, ‘Please, Mr. Creator, will you tell me why the peanut was made?’ ‘That’s better, but even then it’s infinite. What do you want to know about the peanut?’ ‘Mr. Creator, can I make milk out of the peanut?’ ‘What kind of milk do you want? Good Jersey milk or just plain boarding house milk?’ ‘Good Jersey milk.’ And then the Great Creator taught me to take the peanut apart and put it together again. And out of the process have come forth all these products!”

Among the numerous products displayed was a bottle of good Jersey milk. Three and-a-half ounces of peanuts produced one pint of rich milk or one quart of raw “skim” milk, called boarding house “blue john” milk.

On January 21, 1921, Carver addressed the United States House Ways and Means Committee on behalf of the United Peanut Growers Association on the use of peanuts to improve Southern economy. George expounded on the many potential uses of the peanut as a means to improve the Southern economy. Initially given only ten minutes to speak, George Carver so enthralled the committee that the Chairman said, “Go ahead Brother. Your time is unlimited!”

He spoke for one hour and forty-five minutes, explaining the many food products that could be derived from peanuts: “If you go to the first chapter of Genesis, we can interpret very clearly, I think, what God intended when he said, ‘Behold, I have given you every herb that bears seed. To you it shall be meat. ‘This is what He means about it. It shall be meat. There is everything there to strengthen and nourish and keep the body alive and healthy.”

The Committee Chairman asked Carver: “Dr. Carver, how did you learn all of these things?” Carver answered, “From an old book.” “What book?” asked the Chairman. Carver replied, “The Bible.” The Chairman inquired, “Does the Bible tell about peanuts?” “No, Sir” Carver replied, “But it tells about the God who made the peanut. I asked Him to show me what to do with the peanut, and He did.”

On November 19, 1924, Carver spoke to over 500 people at the Women’s Board of Domestic Missions: “God is going to reveal to us things He never revealed before if we put our hands in His. No books ever go into my laboratory. The thing I am to do and the way are revealed to me the moment I am inspired to create something new. Without God to draw aside the curtain, I would be helpless. Only alone can I draw close enough to God to discover His secrets.”

On March 24, 1925, Carver wrote to Robert Johnson, an employee of Chesley Enterprises of Ontario: “Thank God I love humanity; complexion doesn’t interest me one single bit.”

On July 10, 1924, George Washington Carver wrote to James Hardwick: “God cannot use you as He wishes until you come into the fullness of His Glory. Do not get alarmed, my friend, when doubts creep in. That is old Satan. Pray, pray, pray. Oh, my friend, I am praying that God will come in and rid you entirely of self so you can go out after souls right, or rather have souls seek the Christ in you. This is my prayer for you always.”

George Washington Carver – His Life and Faith in His Own Words

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