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During her teenage son's health crisis, Amanda Woodiel finds comfort in a prayer of surrender.

My oldest son needed signed health papers from his doctor in order to go to a week-long summer camp. I managed to get an appointment just before the deadline. 

“Do you have any concerns?” Emily, the nurse practitioner, asked me as she checked his eyes. 

“Oh, no,” I said. “Not with this one.” He is fourteen years old, over six feet tall, slender, and plays sports for a couple of hours every day with his brothers. He plays the piano and thrives academically in our homeschool. “We’ve never had any health problems with him.” 

“Good,” she said. She then told him that she had to check his private area and went through the script the doctors go through. I busied myself by pretending to look for something in my purse in order to give him some privacy. Although I was hardly paying attention, one change in the wording caught my ear. “You need to check this area for lumps and bumps,” she said.

And then— almost triumphantly— she exclaimed, “and this is why we do this!” She turned to her nurse. “There is a mass, very large, bigger than a golf ball.” While I sat stunned in the chair, she went on to describe the physical characteristics she could determine through the exam and ordered an ultrasound at the local hospital— STAT. 

And just like that, we entered the World of the Sick. It was as shocking a turn of events as if I had been transported to the other side of the world in an instant. 

After appointments with a couple of different doctors, more bloodwork, and more imaging, surgery is scheduled for July 29. None of the doctors know what it is, but his pediatric urologist called me the morning after we did more imaging to tell me that the “medical team is very concerned it is cancer.”



Even now, 3 days after his phone call, my brain seems unable to comprehend it. We won’t know whether it is, what kind, what the prognosis is, or what the treatment plan is until after it is removed and sent to pathology. 




So we are in the period of waiting. It feels like a very long stay in the garden the night before the Passion. “Lord, take this cup from us. But not our will be done, but yours.” 

A close friend of ours is a “true friend more loyal than a brother" (Proverbs 18:24). She asked me if she could invite others to pray a novena for Jack. “Sure,” I said. 

“Which one do you want?” she asked. I didn’t have a strong feeling, but in the next couple of days an email popped into my inbox from the Augustine Institute promoting the “Surrender Novena.” 

It was the one. The phrase “Jesus, you take care of it” comforts me immensely. In just one phrase it is an act of humility (I have no command over this) and an act of trust (I know You do). 

I invite you to pray the novena for whatever is weighty in your life, and I am grateful for any prayers for Jack. You can find the novena at The Surrender Novena | Padre Pio Ministry to the Suffering


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The phrase “Jesus, you take care of it” comforts me immensely. In just one phrase it is an act of humility (I have no command over this) and an act of trust (I know You do). #catholicmom

Editor's note:

The Catholic Mom community is praying for Jack through the intercession of Venerable Patrick Peyton. Please join us!

God, our Father, your wisdom is displayed in all creation and the power of your grace is revealed in the lives of holy people, who inspire us to trust you more fully and to serve others more generously.

In a unique way, you blessed the life and work of your servant Father Patrick Peyton, C.S.C., and made him a fervent apostle of Mary, Queen of the Holy Rosary and Mother of us all.

Through his intercession, we ask for this favor: healing for Jack.

Please grant it, if it is for your honor and glory, through Christ Our Lord. Amen.


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Copyright 2022 Amanda Woodiel
Images: Canva