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One day, when I thought I was alone, I prayed in church. While making this offering before the cross, a parishioner came up to me, put her arm around my shoulder and prayed, ‘Dear God, please heal Father Jim. And give me his cancer.’ I was incredulous. I looked at her, and then back to the Lord and quietly prayed, ‘If she insists, Lord, hear our prayer!’ Later I was able to pray, ‘Lord, rather than give my cancer to her, give her heart of love to me – the love that prompted her to deny her very self and pray in such a loving way.

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