Like Mary, who watched her Son die horribly on the Cross, we stand at the foot of our own child’s cross, witnessing our loved one’s quality of life deteriorate and his or her body waste away.
Helpless and miserable, we beg God to take this awful curse away from them and put their burden on us instead.
And then come the relentless questions: Is God punishing me for something that I did or didn’t do? Could I have prevented this from happening? Why can’t I alleviate my child’s suffering?
First Things First
If this is how you feel, please also read my previous post, St. Jude & Ulcerative Colitis.
Here again is the link to the website of the doctor whose protocol has worked for my own son, when medication helped made his symptoms worse.
He offers free downloadable reports for other conditions, such as Crohns and fibromyalgia.
Tap into the power of correct diet and supplements to reverse the symptoms of ulcerative colitis and then use the power of prayer in combating this autoimmune disease.
You don't have to be a helpless bystander!
In his book Return: How to Draw Your Child Back to the Church Brandon Vogt sets out a game plan for achieving his stated goal. It begins with prayer, fasting and sacrifice.
I was struck with the similarities between what the author advocates and my own game plan when my son has a renewed ulcerative colitis flare.
(Please note, his flares are always the result of eating the wrong thing!)
54 Day Rosary Novena
I cannot over-emphasize the power of prayer.
St. Paul said: “Rejoice at all times. Pray without ceasing. Give thanks in every circumstance, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.… (1 Thessalonians 5:16 –18)” (My italics.)
Over the years I have learned to lean on Our Lady whenever I have a crisis in my life. The Mother of God intercedes most persuasively with her Son on our behalf.
She revealed the 54 day Rosary Novena to an incurably sick Italian lady, saying: “Whoever wishes to receive favors from me should make three novenas of the prayers of the Rosary in petition and three in thanksgiving.” She promised to restore the lady’s health and did so.
To obtain a favor, pray consecutively 6 nine day rosary novenas (27 days of petition and 27 days of thanksgiving), reciting the mysteries in the normal order.
You can print out a Miraculous 54 Day Novena Card to keep with you to remind you to pray.
The hardest part about praying this novena is that you have to pray with thanksgiving in your heart for the last 27 days, EVEN WHEN YOUR PRAYER HAS NOT YET BEEN ANSWERED.
This is really tough! It takes enormous faith to persevere when you’re seeing no results.
I was in the final seven days of my first recitation of this novena (for a personal need) when I felt – rather than heard – a whisper telling me that my petition would be answered. I was given no time frame, but I believed that it would be answered, if only I were patient.
I trusted Our Lady and sure enough, what I had feared was impossible, came to pass not long afterwards.
Another time I was praying for my son, who was in the worst flare he’d ever experienced. He’d eaten the strongest possible Indian curry (somehow unaware that this was anathema to his intestines!) and his flare lasted for over two months.
Prednisone no longer works for him to bring down the inflammation. He became skeletal and suffered from a cough and cold that wouldn’t quit because his immune system was completely shot.
This was over Christmas and New Year last year (2015).
I began praying the 54 day Rosary Novena on 15th December, moving to the thanksgiving days on 9th January, with my son showing no signs of improvement.
It was hard, but I believed Our Lady would come through for him and my son finally agreed to go back on the supplements recommended in Dr. Dahlman's protocol which had worked for him before. (He'd been hoping not to need them.)
By 27th January, nine days before the end of the Novena, he sent me a text from work saying “I am substantially healed.” He went on to run the DC Marathon in March “to celebrate being healthy again.” You can imagine my tears of gratitude!
I am currently reciting the 54 Novena once more. My son once again ate something new that disagreed with his intestines and was flaring after a long time of having religiously stuck to his diet.
I was into the ninth day of the Thanksgiving phase when he reported feeling like his old self again, running with his dog and ready to go back to the gym. He now spends the whole night sleeping instead of rushing to the bathroom every hour.
Thank you, Mary, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary!
Efficacious Novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
As well as praying for Our Lady’s help, we always have recourse to her Son. During both of my son’s flares I have prayed the Efficacious Novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
The prayer ends with these words:
‘O Sacred Heart of Jesus, to whom one thing alone is impossible, namely, not to have compassion on the afflicted, have pity on us miserable sinners and grant us the grace which we ask of Thee, through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, Your tender Mother and ours.’
So there is no ‘conflict of interest’ here!
I have never stopped praying to St. Jude, who came through for me when my son was first diagnosed and led me to find the protocol that was going to bring him back to health (see St. Jude & Ulcerative Colitis). He prevented me from despairing at a time when it was hard not to be despondent.
These days I thank him for his continuing help and ask him to join Mary in interceding for my son’s return to health – and to the church. (Which is why I’m reading Return!)
Brandon Vogt writes in Return about ‘two other fruitful practices many parents ignore that can amplify the effects of prayer significantly….The first is fasting, and the second is offering up sacrifices.’ (p. 67)
He talks about different things to fast from. Not just abstinence from food, but also from things we enjoy – he cites binge watching TV and social media or from complaining or gossiping.
And when it gets difficult, we should pray, ‘Lord I am doing this for my child: please relieve him of his suffering.’
As soon as my son flares, I immediately give up alcohol and chocolate as well as going into serious prayer mode!
To quote Brandon Vogt again: “Just as Jesus accepted beatings, torture, and ultimately death on our behalf, offering his sacrifices for the sake of the world, so we must channel our much smaller pains and sufferings for the sake of our children.” (p. 71)
As I’ve mentioned, the last two times my son has flared, after many months of remission, have been through negligent eating.
Because he can control his symptoms through self-discipline, I see red when those symptoms return. “He could have prevented this – he’s making the whole family miserable!”
To top it off, he complains that I shouldn’t get upset. “It’s my disease,” he says, as if watching him suffer shouldn’t have an impact on me. I try to explain that as his mother it is impossible for me to be unaffected and I will always be looking for ways to help.
“Mum, I’ve got this, I don’t need you interfering!”
As you’ll already know, ulcerative colitis doesn’t bring out the best in the sufferer!
So I offered up my unhappiness at his unkind attitude for his sake. I talked to Our Lady, and told her that I knew she suffered much more for her Son than me for mine. I talked to Jesus about how my self-pity was not justified – He had much more reason to feel sorry for Himself that I did!
The next morning God and His Mother gave me back my son. He hugged me and we wordlessly made our peace. That was followed by the first night he slept through without having to go to the bathroom, and the next day was able to go running without fear of an accident.
On the evening of Thanksgiving Day we took his dog for a long walk in the dark and had a wonderful chat.
Have faith and help your child follow a protocol like the one I mention to bring their digestive system back into balance and keep it there. This requires a huge lifestyle change but will ultimately make them much healthier with a stronger immune system.
God has given us the tools - let's use them!
- Ulcerative Colitis: A Natural Approach
- St. Jude & Ulcerative Colitis
- One Man's Ulcerative Colitis Diet
- A Different Kind of Milk
The world is ready for a fictional hero with ulcerative colitis!
Riding Out the Devil is the first book in my trilogy about Jack Harper, a horse trainer with UC.
Download your FREE copy at Hilary Walker Books!