By Mary Sayad



    As we mature, sometimes certain parts of our bodies start to squeak, lose flexibility and outright ache (ache as in hurt ). Whether the pain is born out of injury, usage or surgery (a different subject), pain is uncomfortable, annoying and downright unwelcome. Most of us sooner or later will experience pain. If at this point you disagree with me, just visit your local pharmacy and walk down the analgesics aisle. There you will find a myriad of products which claim to cure you of your pain albeit temporarily. I can't begin to list the pain prescription medication available behind the pharmacist's counter. We live in a society where comfort is revered and anything that promotes discomfort is absolutely and unequivocally intolerable. Not so recently I've discovered a new meaning to "no pain, no gain".

    Our complaints immerse us into deeper depths of pain. Our life becomes a series of grunts and groans, some louder and some whinier. Our personal world is suddenly thrust into pain focus.

    One sleepless night (one among countless nights), I , who am a Christian and strongly rooted in Jesus' healing and Bible scriptures, decided to refuse the power that pain has cast over me. I realized that in all our Christian teachings and beliefs, there is nothing more powerful than the love of Jesus and Mary. With this ineffable love, I will conquer pain and it's accompanying insomnia. Unwavering and determined, I asked

    We who are baptized in Christ and honor His Blessed Mother hold in our hearts and minds the keys to salvation. Information is what we access, and knowledge is what we do with the information. In the Bible, the Old Testament and the New Testament provide us with the information to live peacefully and fully as well as prepare us for adversities. More electrifying than any mind altering substance is the wisdom available to us in the Bible.

    In the Holy Bible, the devil or Satan, is mentioned by Jesus several times. Among the devil's trappings are fear, greed and deceit. Satan, a proficient underhanded snake is also very capable at disguising himself in the form of pain and/or illness. Skilled in his persistence of discouraging us in believing that our prayers are heard and effective, he will stop at nothing to dishearten us from our Christian beliefs of prayer and healing.

    Having come to this understanding/knowledge, I began to accept, "no pain, no gain". Let the pain will guide us to a deeper and stronger spirituality. By accepting the constant presence of our Heavenly Father and Jesus, we shall overcome negative influence (Satan).

    "I can do all things in Him who strengthens me", Phillippians 4:13. The road ahead is long and at times, very arduous but because we're engulphed and surrounded by the love of Jesus and Mary, we shall be given all the strength that each moment demands. We should be pressed to continue to grow in spirituality and to assist other struggling souls and bodies along the way. Our pain has granted us the ability to empathize with brothers and sisters in pain thereby breaking down a variety of isolating barriers. Along with family and friends, we may extend ourselves to assist and pray for others . "No pain, no gain can take on on a new, poignant and spiritual meaning.

    We who have experienced the weeping portrait of St. Ann and Blessed Mary in Jersey City are truly privileged. The miraculous oil sent to us so generously from heaven is a sign of peace and healing. Because it is rare, this miraculous oil is more precious than diamonds and gold. A worldly price could never be placed on it. We are called to prayer to share our meager and imperfect love

    with the greatest love God has given us -- the love and sacrifice of His Son and His Blessed Mother Mary.

    We share this love when we pray for others and when we hearken to His word as well as encourage each other to join in prayer. The miraculous oil is the tool to be used and applied to help us to forgive and pray more often to achieve the healing which we are seeking for ourselves and for those in our prayer lists.

    Your friend in prayer,
    Mary Sayad