Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Tuesday 7 March 2017 Tuesday of the 1st week of Lent (optional commemoration of Saints Perpetua and Felicity, Martyrs)

               Image result for Saints Perpetua and Felicity,      



In the beginning of October we had a serious problem with out internet provider and that problem was only solved two days ago. Then in mid-October I became quite ill and suffered a Gastro Intestinal bleeding. I woke up on the floor of my bathroom and was barely able to crawl to my bed. I managed to us the cell phone to call for help. One male nurse who owns a pharmacy nearby came rushing over to the  hermitage and took one look at  me and immediately started  IV and pushed fluids to keep me from going into shock. Then Sang called for a local taxi to get me to the British run clinic. The taxi was prompt and I made it to the Medical Research Council (MRC) hospital. I desperately needed blood but because I am O Negative blood type it was hard to find Donors. One friend, Janis Carter, got busy trying to find donors and the Expat community was able to find 5 donors. More blood was needed to get my hemoglobin back to normal but the doctors had to make do with the 5 pints.        and they worked feverishly to keep me alive. I had been paying for medical evacuation insurance for the past 8 years but when the doctors called the company they refused to evacuate me. The Bishop, who was shocked to see my condition and had me moved to to anther clinic where I stayed for a week and then he had me medevac'd to the Mass General Hospital in Boston. A MD escorted me on the flight. The diocese paid for the flight and the MD escort but expects me to repay the diocese ASAP.                                                                     The flight to Boston was tough on my old body but we made it to the Emergency room in the late evening and I was told to return the next morning for in patient admission. I stayed with my sister who lives a short distance from Boston and she took me to the hospital the next morning. I was admitted and subjected to numerous tests and scans. it was discovered that I suffered a mini stroke which damaged the sight in my left eye. It became clear to the doctors that I also have Angina but that can be treated easily. I was discharged from MGH and went back to my sisters house and stayed with her for a couple more weeks. She was so kind to be driving me back and forth to the various medical appointments at MGH.                                                      

I flew back to The Gambia on December 7th and a week later began to work with the sick poor that Sang, my trusted helper, had been helping. The work was carried on the entire time I was away.  God bless you Sang!!!  

Now I am feeling fine although still tired and a bit of a 'space cadet'. God has been so good to me and I praise His Holy name'

Hopefully I will be able to get this blog out each day as in the past.

I would like to beg your help again in order to restock our medicines and supplies and if you can help me repay the Bishop (diocese) for expenses incurred in my evacuation.   

Please pray for the repose of the soul of  Ms. Jerry Jordan who passed away two weeks ago. She was a dear friend and colleague when we worked for USAID' Jerry was a faithful contributor to for needs of the sick poor from the very beginning of this ministry. Rest in Peace dear Jerry!                                                                                                                      

Thank you all for your kind help,  My love and prayers be with you!

brother dismas Mary of the Cross




First Reading

Exodus 6:29-7:25 
The Lord said to Moses, ‘See, I make you as a god for Pharaoh, and Aaron your brother is to be your prophet. You yourself must tell him all I command you, and Aaron your brother will tell Pharaoh to let the sons of Israel leave his land. I myself will make Pharaoh’s heart stubborn, and perform many a sign and wonder in the land of Egypt. Pharaoh will not listen to you, and so I will lay my hand on Egypt and with strokes of power lead out my armies, my people, the sons of Israel, from the land of Egypt. And all the Egyptians shall come to know that I am the Lord when I stretch out my hand against Egypt and bring out the sons of Israel from their midst.’ Moses and Aaron obeyed; they did what the Lord commanded them. Moses was eighty years old, and Aaron eighty-three at the time of their audience with Pharaoh.
  The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, ‘If Pharaoh says to you, “Produce some marvel,” you must say to Aaron, “Take your staff and throw it down in front of Pharaoh, and let it turn into a serpent.”’ To Pharaoh, then, Moses and Aaron duly went, and they did as the Lord commanded. Aaron threw down his staff in front of Pharaoh and his court, and it turned into a serpent. Then Pharaoh in his turn called for the sages and the sorcerers, and with their witchcraft the magicians of Egypt did the same. Each threw his staff down and these turned into serpents. But Aaron’s staff swallowed up the staffs of the magicians. Yet Pharaoh’s heart was stubborn and, as the Lord had foretold, he would not listen to Moses and Aaron.
  Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Pharaoh is adamant. He refuses to let the people go. In the morning go to him as he makes his way to the water and wait for him by the bank of the river. In your hand take the staff that turned into a serpent. Say to him, “The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, has sent me to say: Let my people go to offer me worship in the wilderness. Now, so far you have not listened. Here is the Lord’s message: That I am the Lord you shall learn by this: with the staff that is in my hand I will strike the water of the river and it shall be changed into blood. The fish in the river will die, and the river will smell so foul that the Egyptians will not want to drink the water of it.”’ the Lord said to Moses, ‘Say this to Aaron, “Take your staff and stretch out your hand over the waters of Egypt, over their rivers and their canals, their marshland, and all their reservoirs, and let them turn to blood throughout the land of Egypt, even down to the contents of every tub or jar.”’ Moses and Aaron did as the Lord commanded. He raised his staff and in the sight of Pharaoh and his court he struck the waters of the river, and all the water in the river changed to blood. The fish in the river died, and the river smelt so foul that the Egyptians found it impossible to drink its water. Throughout the land of Egypt there was blood. But the magicians of Egypt used their witchcraft to do the same, so that Pharaoh’s heart was stubborn and, as the Lord had foretold, he would not listen to Moses and Aaron. Pharaoh turned away and went back into his palace, taking no notice even of this. Meanwhile, all the Egyptians dug holes along the banks of the river in search of drinking water; they found the water of the river impossible to drink. After the Lord had struck the river, seven days passed.

 Second Reading

From a treatise on the Lord's Prayer by Saint Cyprian, bishop and martyr
He has given us life: he has also taught us how to pray
Dear brothers, the commands of the Gospel are nothing else than God’s lessons, the foundations on which to build up hope, the supports for strengthening faith, the food that nourishes the heart. They are the rudder for keeping us on the right course, the protection that keeps our salvation secure. As they instruct the receptive minds of believers on earth, they lead safely to the kingdom of heaven.
  God willed that many things should be said by the prophets, his servants, and listened to by his people. How much greater are the things spoken by the Son. These are now witnessed to by the very Word of God who spoke through the prophets. The Word of God does not now command us to prepare the way for his coming: he comes in person and opens up the way for us and directs us toward it. Before, we wandered in the darkness of death, aimlessly and blindly. Now we are enlightened by the light of grace, and are to keep to the highway of life, with the Lord to precede and direct us.
  The Lord has given us many counsels and commandments to help us toward salvation. He has even given us a pattern of prayer, instructing us on how we are to pray. He has given us life, and with his accustomed generosity, he has also taught us how to pray. He has made it easy for us to be heard as we pray to the Father in the words taught us by the Son.
  He had already foretold that the hour was coming when true worshipers would worship the Father in spirit and in truth. He fulfilled what he had promised before, so that we who have received the spirit and the truth through the holiness he has given us may worship in truth and in the spirit through the prayer he has taught.
  What prayer could be more a prayer in the spirit than the one given us by Christ, by whom the Holy Spirit was sent upon us? What prayer could be more a prayer in the truth than the one spoken by the lips of the Son, who is truth himself? It follows that to pray in any other way than the Son has taught us is not only the result of ignorance but of sin. He himself has commanded it, and has said: You reject the command of God, to set up your own tradition.
  So, my brothers, let us pray as God our master has taught us. To ask the Father in words his Son has given us, to let him hear the prayer of Christ ringing in his ears, is to make our prayer one of friendship, a family prayer. Let the Father recognize the words of his Son. Let the Son who lives in our hearts be also on our lips. We have him as an advocate for sinners before the Father; when we ask forgiveness for our sins, let us use the words given by our advocate. He tells us: Whatever you ask the Father in my name, he will give you. What more effective prayer could we then make in the name of Christ than in the words of his own prayer?

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