Thursday, November 13, 2008

Inoperable Brain Tumor Heighten's Faith of Young Naval Officer

I spotted this over at the New Liturgical Movement blog. Initially, I was going to make a post and ask you all to include this man in your prayers. However, upon visiting a new blog he set up in which he is logging his spiritual thoughts, I believe we should spend some time there learning from him. He is obviously acting on some solid graces.

His name is Philip Johnson. He is a 24 year old Catholic with a deep appreciation for good liturgy. The header on his blog, In Caritate Non Ficta, reads:

On October 15, 2008, after two years as an officer in the Navy, my life changed when I was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. Putting my concerns in the hands of the Blessed Virgin Mary and my trust in Our Lord Jesus Christ, I pray that I may be faithful to the Holy Catholic Faith and serve the Church for the rest of my life.

In this post, and in this post, he explains deeper his medical predicament.

As a Carmelite, what strikes me is his spirituality. In his November 13th post, Deriving Strength from the Eucharist, he starts out with the following (click the title link to read his entire post, which I recommend).

I have received many emails asking how I can be so "joyful" and content after learning that I have a brain tumor. There are many factors involved, including the fact that a severe illness forces one to focus on eternal life with God rather than "worldly kingdoms." For those who focus on this short earthly life, it is very difficult to deal with an illness over which one has little control. For those who focus on eternity, it is possible to see this life as a "stepping stone" to eternal happiness with Our Lord. After coming to this realization, suffering and death are not only easier to accept, but are welcomed with a deep desire to be united to Our Lord's cross and to spend eternity with Him in heaven.

To give us strength to live out our daily lives, Our Lord Jesus Christ has given us a great gift - the gift of Himself in the Blessed Sacrament. In the Most Holy Eucharist, Christ gives Himself to us - Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity - and I must credit this great gift as my source of strength in this difficult time in my life. As Catholic faithful, we can reap the spiritual benefits of this great gift by receiving frequent Holy Communion, and by adoring Our Lord in the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar....[snip].
I will be praying for Philip Johnson and ask you all to do the same. However, use this opportunity to learn about the faith through this words. They feed the soul like a watering hole after a night in the desert.

He has entrusted himself to Jesus and Mary. May he find comfort in their Sacred and Immaculate Hearts, and lead many more to them.

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The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!