Some of you may remember my asking you to join me in praying the Immaculate Conception Novena for Philip Johnson, a seminarian with an inoperable brain tumor, back in December. In case you haven’t been keeping up with his blog, I thought I would let you know that Philip is still in need of our prayers. Due to the demands of his chemotherapy treatment, he did not return to seminary this semester and will instead continue his studies with a private tutor.
Philip is truly an extraordinary witness. Take a look at what he wrote about his call to the priesthood back in 2008:
“As I deal with a brain tumor, I am not sad that it may eventually cause me to suffer and die. … The single worry I face every day is that because of various circumstances – some of which are beyond my control – I may never know what it is like to serve God as the alter Christus I desire with all my heart to be. It brings tears to my eyes to imagine departing this world without pronouncing the words of Christ at the Last Supper, ‘This is My Body; This is My Blood’ … I pray fervently that I may one day have the privilege of absolving sins… I offer my suffering from this illness for the intentions and sanctification of all bishops, priests, and religious, and for more vocations to the priesthood and religious life.”
And when you’ve got a half-hour to spare, check out this video of a talk Philip gave to students at a Catholic school in Raleigh. Powerful stuff!
Please join me in continuing to pray for Philip, particularly during the upcoming season of Lent. You can follow his blog at: philipgerardjohnson.blogspot.com
Mother Mary, be his comfort and his joy! Teach him how to suffer with Our Lord. Keep him always close to your Immaculate Heart!