29th December – St Thomas Beckett, Martyr

The following picture was taken over the Christmas period. Front row L>R: LMA 085Niece Shauna, sister Maureen and brother in law John Reilly. Back: Niece Síle with grand nephew Mikey Browne, me holding a non-alcoholic(!) glass of punch, nephews Jason and David.

Today was another routine clinic day in Cork. I also had a series of once-off fitness tests for the upcoming bone marrow transplant: heart ECG and ultrasound, breathing test, chest x-ray and special purpose blood tests. As far as I know they all went OK. I wont have a clinic on Friday as I normally do as it is a bank holiday and the ward is closed. I spoke to the consultant who alerted me to more tests that will come three months after the bone marrow transplant. These tests in mid April will check the short term success of the transplant procedure.

If you are thinking of spiritual New Year’s resolutions, you might consider saying daily Pope Francis’ Prayer for the Jubilee Year of Mercy (below). With a little bit of know-how it can be printed off for ease of use.

If you wanted to do something extra, you could say a short prayer often during the day (like in idle moments) to remind yourself more often of God’s mercy: LORD I AM A SINNER. COME WITH YOUR MERCY. It is also a way of practicing the Presence of God, an esteemed practice in the Church over the centuries.

Pope Francis’ Prayer for the Year of Mercy

Lord Jesus Christ,
you have taught us to be merciful like the heavenly Father,
and have told us that whoever sees you sees Him.
Show us your face and we will be saved.
Your loving gaze freed Zacchaeus and Matthew from being enslaved by money;
the adulteress and Magdalene from seeking happiness only in created things;
made Peter weep after his betrayal,
and assured Paradise to the repentant thief.
Let us hear, as if addressed to each one of us, the words that you spoke to the Samaritan woman:
“If you knew the gift of God!”
You are the visible face of the invisible Father,
of the God who manifests his power above all by forgiveness and mercy:
let the Church be your visible face in the world, its Lord risen and glorified.
You willed that your ministers would also be clothed in weakness
in order that they may feel compassion for those in ignorance and error:
let everyone who approaches them feel sought after, loved, and forgiven by God.
Send your Spirit and consecrate every one of us with its anointing,
so that the Jubilee of Mercy may be a year of grace from the Lord,
and your Church, with renewed enthusiasm, may bring good news to the poor,
proclaim liberty to captives and the oppressed,
and restore sight to the blind.
We ask this through the intercession of Mary, Mother of Mercy,
you who live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit for ever and ever.