How can I sufficiently thank you for the many prayers and good wishes you have been sending me during this time of my illness? Let me assure you of my deepest gratitude for your kindness and thoughtfulness. It really helps me to deal with the issues I need to face. You are in my daily prayers.

I also want to assure you that what I have has absolutely nothing to do with the Covid-19 virus that has plagued so many throughout our country and beyond. They checked this out when I first came to the ER and it was negative. Instead, what I have is part of the heart trouble that has plagued me for many years. The diagnosis came forth as a ‘pulmonary embolism’ that had begun in my legs, reached my lungs and threatened the heart. I didn’t realize how serious the condition was until one surgeon said that I wouldn’t have lasted 24 more hours if my Physician hadn’t sent me immediately to the ER. Thank you, Dr. Marull!

I hardly think I could have been in a finer hospital for such emergency treatment than Bethesda East. The staff, from top to bottom, rendered class-act service! I am grateful to them for a quick diagnosis and immediate action. Many staff members and I recognized one another, and the passing comments were heartening: “You baptized our daughter;” “You married us at OLQA;” “You anointed my Mom before she died.” Those pastoral actions assured me that I would not have to worry about my stay there.

All of this causes me to say how important all of these medically connected personnel are to our communities because of their dedicated service. Their services are not only invaluable, but are a way of showing the love of God that is in their hearts no matter their religious beliefs or worship styles. That’s why I always include an intention for them in the Prayers of the Faithful at my Masses almost daily. They truly are “the salt of the earth.”

I wish I had a crystal ball or some other special way of gaining insight into what the future holds for us in regard to dealing with the outcome of the current pandemic. But, we have to leave it to a hope in God’s love and mercy to guide us through this mess as He always can in any difficulty or desperate situation. The prayer of faith-abiding people is still the key to overcoming any and all adversity in life.

As we continue to pray even more intensely during these troubled times, let us also remember those who have gone onto their eternal destiny, that God may have mercy on them and eventually receive them into His heavenly presence. May He also preserve us from all harm.