Further back when Mike was a child living in Rhode Island, his mother took him to the Lahey Clinic in Boston to find out what he was allergic to since he had chronic breathing problems. He found out he was allergic to many things including dust, cats, and ketchup.
His younger sister had to find a new home for her cat, Muffy. She was very sad.
I had seen Mike’s physical reaction when a cat got anywhere near him. His eyes would start itching and running, and he would start sneezing and his nose would get stuffy. We knew a cat was around even before we saw it.
And where does the Lord call Mike as an adult? To a big dust bowl where the wind blows — The Lord’s Ranch.
Fr. Thomas had given a teaching on the scripture Sirach 38:9-12:
My son, when you are ill, delay not, but pray to God, who will heal you: Flee wickedness; let your hands be just, cleanse your heart of every sin; Offer your sweet-smelling oblation and petition, a rich offering according to your means. Then give the doctor his place lest he leave; for you need him too.
After that night at the hospital (he was not admitted after they got his breathing aided), Mike said, “I think I need to go through Sirach 38:9-12 carefully and do each step.”
Step 1 – He prayed to God to heal him.
Step 2 – He went to confession to cleanse himself of his sins.
Step 3 – This was a big one for him. “Make a rich offering as you can afford.” Mike took this seriously.
We didn’t have a lot of possessions. We lived in one room. However, he had a stereo that he had brought from Rhode Island and he decided to give that away. He also wanted to give some of our favorite wedding gifts away. This was harder on me, but I could see he felt strongly about it so we gave some gifts away including a big double sleeping bag which we both liked. (tough one)
Well, Mike was healed! He has lived on the Lord’s Ranch for 41 years through many dust storms and with different cats around. Our oldest daughter was given a kitten when she was young. This furry long-haired cat named Junior lived with us for 16 years. Junior would sometimes be outside but would spend a lot of time inside with us bringing in all the dust and pollen from outdoors. Mike had no watery eyes or any other reaction.
Now our youngest daughter, for the last 5 years, has had two cats that live inside our house all the time. Again, no bad reactions.
And Mike can eat ketchup with no problem.
The Lord miraculously healed Mike! We still thank God for this grand healing.
I recommend that when you are sick to follow these steps in Sirach and give God a chance. You may be healed! If not, you still get spiritual cleansing and blessings from following the steps, and as verse 12 says, then give the doctor his place.
Mary Ann / Mother Hen