Monday was the Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes and also the World Day of Prayer for the Sick. Mass was offered in our chapel for Father Gerard Hatton, one of the Trustees of the St Barnabas Society, who is seriously ill in hospital. Father Gerard is a devoted priest and someone who is loved and admired by many people. The many posts on Facebook testify to this and I know that there are people all over the world who are praying for his speedy recovery.
Having Masses offered on his behalf will undoubtedly aid the healing process. It is a wonderful reminder to us that in our suffering we are never alone. Through the Eucharistic Sacrifice not only is God Himself able to reach out to touch us and restore us to wholeness but also, in a marvellous way, He gathers His faithful people to Himself and then uses their kindness, care and concern to convey His healing grace to the person who needs it. This is how this wonderful gift works in our lives. This is precisely what has been happening for Father Gerard in recent days.
One of the prayers used by the priest at Mass says:
“May the receiving of your Body and Blood, Lord Jesus Christ…be for me protection in mind and body and a healing remedy.”
Father Gerard must have prayed those words at the altar many times as he has prepared for Holy Communion. Through the Mass may the Lord be especially close to him at this anxious time and may the intercession of Our Lady, Queen of the Sick, St Barnabas, St Gerard and all the saints be a source of strength to him, to those who love him and to those who are caring for him.
Lord, the one whom you love is sick.