Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Fighting Together, with Prayer

In my posting on Lymphedema Sleeves, I talked about my friend, Susan Niebur aka Whymommy, who is currently participating in a clinical trial to battle a locally metastatic cancer, her fourth cancer in as many years. Susan is an amazing person. She shines with love. She radiates joy. She makes you want to be a better person. In the short time she has been part of our church community, she has drawn so many people to her, just like moths to a flame. It might be her cheery smile and her ability to see the goodness in life; it might be her obvious love for her husband and children; it might be her wit, her intelligence, her kindness, her gentleness. I'm not sure.

What I am sure of, however, is that many people have expressed to me the desire to pray as a community for Susan. And, as a result, we are joining together starting next Monday, January 31, to say a novena (communal or private prayer, said over nine days or hours). We will say the novena in our church chapel and we are inviting those who cannot be there in person to pray with us between the hours of 8 and 9, every night from January 31 through February 8.
If you are not the formal prayer type, we invite you to send all positive thoughts and vibes, expressions of caring and love, and aspirations of hope out to the Unknowable Universe over this period. We also invite you to pray formally in the style of your own tradition for this intention if you are more comfortable doing that.
We will be praying through the intercession of Blessed John Paul II -- intercessory prayer is like asking a beloved older brother or sister to talk to Dad (intercede) for us. It is a type of prayer that has a long history in Catholicism, and which makes perfect sense if you believe, as Catholics do, in the Communion of Saints -- that is, in the spiritual unity of all in the Christian Church, those on earth and those who are with God. All members of the Communion of Saints are members of a Mystical Body, with Christ as the Head, in which all members contribute to the good of all and share in the welfare of all.

We are working on the details right now -- when we are finished, I intend to post the novena prayers here so that anyone who wishes to can pray the novena with us. If you do so, please let me know so that we can let Susan know the breadth and depth of love for her, both here in her immediate community and around the world.


  1. CZ - pls let me know the deets!

    PS/ I'd like to send the info to my FB friends also (via messages) - that is OK, right?

  2. Patti --

    absolutely. Spread as far and wide as possible. We want to storm heaven with our prayer.