Matt C. Abbott
Something joyful...; A reader's plea for prayers
By Matt C. Abbott
June 9, 2014

From Laurie Higgins of the Illinois Family Institute (June 5):
    Some of you may remember the scandal that sent former Illinois governor George Ryan to prison some years ago – you know, before our last governor, Rod Blagojevich, went to prison.

    Under George Ryan, trucking licenses were sold illegally and, as a result, the family of Scott and Janet Willis lost the youngest six of their nine children in a fiery inferno on an Illinois expressway.

    One of the older surviving children, Toby, has 12 children of his own, and they're currently appearing on America's Got Talent. Click here to watch them.

    I wish the judges knew their story. Toby's father Scott was my boss' pastor at the time of the accident. The grace and faith of Scott and Janet inspired many. Here's just one press account.

A reader wrote:
    When I read your article about the nun who was cured of Parkinson's, I felt very happy, if not a little jealous, for her. It was hard to read the article knowing of my own battle with illnesses in the past and, now, Parkinson's. I, too, am begging God in His Divine Mercy for a miracle, but I don't have the advantage of a convent of holy nuns praying for me, or a relic, or even of signs and wonders. But then, I've missed many signs along the way while others loomed ahead, and still, some were fulfilled.

    To understand a bit of my history, I suffered from colorectal cancer and a doctor who thought the bleeding for almost two years was merely a hemorrhoid, and that was why he had a hard time navigating my colon. A new doctor explained that the obstruction was a cancerous tumor.

    Then the chemo/radiation practically destroyed my heart. A defibrillator was inserted. I've lost so much weight so quickly that skin from my arms hangs like a fright. The neuropathy adds to the pain.

    I pray for Saint John Paul II to put in a good word for me, and Sister Faustina as well. I understand her confessor may be up for canonization. If I'm cured, I will write to the Vatican about his cause.

    Since I'm half Polish and my father, who passed away, was Polish, maybe Jesus will smile on a lay person who deserves nothing, even though my birthday occurred the day of Divine Mercy when John Paul II died. I asked God for a birthday present concerning a different subject. With His Majesty's grace, I had received my gift, but on my youngest and most pious daughter's birthday. At first, I didn't even realize it.

    Whatever God's will is, I accept concerning my situation. But I have a hard time continuing to live. It takes all the energy I have to try to stand up straight. Oh, if my parents could see what's become of me! My dad always told me to straighten up, probably due to his osteoporosis.

    I can't begin to discuss inner trials, but they are always with me. I used to teach and be a leader, happy in the Lord after a few years away from Him. My God and Savior has brought me this far along, and He will finish what He has begun in me.

    All I ask is a few prayers from your readers. It's not even necessary to tell the whole story, just beg for prayers for me. I can't make any trips to Lourdes or a healing shrine. Thank you for your prayers.
Please keep this reader, who wishes to remain anonymous, in your prayers. And please pray for everyone who's suffering from a serious illness, including veteran pro-life activist Randall Terry's young son, Michael Terry.

© Matt C. Abbott


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Matt C. Abbott

Matt C. Abbott is a Catholic commentator with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication, media and theatre from Northeastern Illinois University. He's been interviewed on MSNBC, WOSU Radio in Ohio, WLS-TV (ABC) in Chicago, WMTV (NBC) in Madison, Wis., and has been quoted in The New York Times and the Chicago Tribune. He can be reached at

(Note: I welcome thoughtful feedback and story ideas. If you want our correspondence to remain confidential, please specify as such in your initial email to me. However, I reserve the right to forward and/or publish emails that are accusatory, insulting or threatening in nature, even if those emails are marked confidential. Also, if you give me permission to publish a quote of yours in my column, please do not contact me at a later time to request that I delete your name. Only in very rare circumstances will I quote anonymous sources. Thank you and God bless!)


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