In this issue:
• Reflection for Saturday: Two miracles in my marriage
• Terry's story: The secret to receiving blessings as a caregiver
• Prayer that Works: A video on the Power of Thanksgiving
• #ILoveGoodNewsMinistries : Help our mission with a hashtag!
I will give thanks to you, O LORD, with all my heart; I will declare all your wondrous deeds. (from Saturday's responsorial Psalm)
Reflection for Saturday: Two miracles in my marriage
By Ramón Quintana García, Spanish reflections proofreader (volunteer)
My testimony is about a miracle that God performed in my marriage.
I am a Christian Catholic, by God's grace. I'm a Public Accountant. I am a disabled person and I use a wheelchair.
Until 2008, I was a Catholic but not an active one. My wife Mireya invited me every Sunday to Mass, but I did not agree to go.
However, she did not stop praying to the Lord, asking for my conversion, that I would approach the Church and the Sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist. She always trusted this scripture in prayer: "For God, nothing is impossible…" (Luke 1:37)
And something else: She also prayed that I would stay away from alcohol, because ever since we met, I had been far from the Church but very close to alcohol.
There is no doubt that the Lord does things his way and in his time!
In August of 2008, the miracle began. Triglycerides were detected in my blood and, as I was disabled and could not walk, I could not exercise to reduce them. So, the doctors told me I had to stop consuming alcohol. Right then and there, I decided to leave it. My delighted wife thanks God for this response to her prayer. Today, my triglycerides are still normal.
This is the first part of the miracle, or the first miracle.
The second part or second miracle happened when, in December of the same year, my wife became ill. Cervical cancer was detected in advanced degree.
For our family, this was an announcement of death. However, my wife, full of faith, kept praying and asking the Lord for her health and my complete conversion.
I was heartbroken, more than her. But now I know that this was because she had faith and I did not. In my grief I asked her what could I do to make her illness more bearable. And she replied that she would be happy if I went to Mass with her every Sunday, at least, so we could pray together to the Lord. I immediately accepted, because I wanted to do whatever she asked me to do. The next Sunday, we went to Mass, and since then we have not missed a single Sunday.
The miracle was great, because after I returned to Church, I began collaborating in some groups, especially in evangelization. And the most miraculous thing for us is that MY WIFE WAS HEALED FROM CANCER after some treatments of chemotherapy and radiation. It was a very quick response from the Lord, since by September 2009 the doctor was already discharging her.
People who knew me are now surprised to see my transformation; they cannot believe it, so I take the opportunity to share with them this same testimony and I invite them to return to Mass.
Now my wife and I thank the Lord for his kind response to our prayers: Thank You, Lord, for Your mercy!
NOTE FROM THE DIRECTOR: If you have a story about answered prayer, send it in! We'd love to share it here in this newsletter. You can help us increase the faith of others.
The secret to receiving blessings as a caregiver
By Terry Modica, Cofounder & Director of Good News Ministries
I'd like to give you an update about my mother. A few weeks ago, I mentioned in this newsletter that she was getting knee surgery and I asked for your prayers. Her knee replacement went very well and, thanks to the physical therapy she did before surgery, she did better than expected. I'm sure your prayers contributed to the success of her surgery. At 86 years old, any surgery is difficult for her.
The days preceding her surgery required a lot of my time, because she was disabled by much pain. After surgery, she needed even more of my time. Though it seemed like an intrusive burden, because it prevented me from doing my Good News Ministries work, it really was a joy to serve her, because I knew I was serving Jesus through her. It was exhausting but a blessing.
One of the reasons why it was such a blessing is what I'd like to share with you now, because sometimes I hear from people who are caregivers and they don't always receive the same blessings. The blessings come from balance. Yes there are times when we must sacrifice ourselves, our agenda, our preferences. And the sacrifice might continue for a long time. We lay down our lives for others. But God never wants us to do it to the point where we are drained and emptied of all energy and joy. The joy comes from balance. The energy comes from doing nothing more then what God wants us to do.
As you may know from previous newsletters, I am also caregiver for my father. He has dementia, and although it's not very debilitating yet, it makes caregiving much more difficult. His dementia causes him to not realize dangers that he puts himself into and he tries to do more than he can physically handle. With his heart pumping at only 20% capacity he does not have the strength to walk unaided, and even with a walker he cannot do it for more than several minutes at a time. He also has other physical handicaps from aging, and all of these issues make caregiving for him at home totally out of balance. With God's guidance and miraculous timing, we found an assisted living home just 2 miles from our house. My dad is one of only six residents and he has certified nursing assistants keeping an eye on him around the clock and helping him whenever he needs it.
Sometimes I hear from those who try to help an aging parent every day, day and night. This mammoth effort negatively impacts their marriages. And it depresses the joy of serving. Balance is God's plan. And balance includes bringing in outside caregivers to relieve some of the burden and free up some of our time.
I also know of those who have turned away from caregiving, giving their loved ones completely over to other family or professional caregivers. Sometimes this is God's plan, but often this, too, is out of balance, because we are called to lay down our lives for others as imitators of Christ and as deliverers of his love.
My mom is strong enough now to do a lot on her own. I've returned to mostly a normal schedule. However, this week the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday took me away from work again. Always the question of balance arises. It's a question we should all ask God about every day: "Lord, how much is too much? How little is too little? Help me to do today nothing more and nothingless then what You want from me. Amen."
Another prayer request: Please pray for my husband, Ralph. On Wednesday (29th) he'll be hospitalized overnight for a procedure that we hope will cure A-fib (irregular heartbeat). Pray that it works successfully. Other methods of treating it have failed. It's time for a miracle!
Prayer that Works: A video on the Power of Thanksgiving
When we add thanksgiving to our prayer requests, we conquer fears and overcome worries. This 4-minute video explains how and why thankfulness is so important for obtaining miracles.
#ILoveGoodNewsMinistries: Help our mission with a hashtag!
Would you do me a favor? In the U.S., we celebrated Thanksgiving on Thursday (November 23). But no matter where you live, we all have much to thank God for, and in these dark times of unChristian and anti-Catholic attacks against faith and morals, praising God has become more important than ever. Wouldn't you agree? Praising God and rejoicing in his goodness puts an attractive joy in our hearts that lifts us up while also drawing others to faith.
At Good News Ministries, we're changing the world by changing hearts for Christ. You can help with this mission in a very easy, very simple way this week. Are you grateful for Good News Ministries? Join our Thankful Joy Campaign. Spread your thankfulness with the hashtag "ILoveGoodNewsMinistries".
If you're not familiar with hashtags, or to see what others are hashtagging about Good News Ministries, visit our website at gnm.org/thankful-joy-campaign/.
God bless you!
Every morning, I lift up in to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the fire of the Holy Spirit everyone who helps Good News Ministries in any way (donors, volunteers, prayer supporters, etc.) and all the prayer requests posted on our site.
Thank you for reading this newsletter.
Your servant in Christ,
Good News Ministries gnm.org
Keep your eyes on Jesus!
Look to the past with gratitude.
Live the present with passion.
Move into the future with hope.
Find creative ways to proclaim the gospel of joy! (Wisdom by Pope Francis)