Skip to content

In Time of Sickness ………….

Our Lady of the Rosary Library




From Rev. Fr. Leonard Goffine’s
The Church’s Year

Twentieth Sunday After Pentecost

The Introit of the Mass is an humble prayer, by which we acknowledge that
we are punished for our disobedience:
INTROIT All that thou hast done to us, O Lord, thou hast done in true,
judgment: because we have sinned against thee, and have not obeyed thy
commandments: but give glory to thy name, and deal with us according to the
multitude of thy mercy. (Dan. III. 28.) Blessed are the undefiled in the
way: who walk in the law of the Lord. (Fs. CXVIII.). Glory etc.

COLLECT Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord, in Thy mercy to Thy faithful pardon
and peace; that they may both be cleansed from all their offences, and
serve Thee with a quiet mind. Thro’.

EPISTLE (Ephes. V. 15-21.) Brethren, See how you walk circumspectly, not as
unwise, but as wise redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
Wherefore, become not unwise, but understanding what is the will of God.
And be not drunk with wine, wherein is luxury: but be ye filled with the
Holy Spirit, speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns, and spiritual

canticles, singing and making melody in your hearts to the Lord: giving
thanks always for all things, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to God
and the Father; being subject one to another in the fear of Christ.

How may we redeem time?

By employing every moment to gain eternal goods, even should we lose
temporal advantages thereby; by letting no opportunity pass without
endeavoring to do good, to labor and, suffer for love of God, to improve
our lives, and increase in, virtue.

Do you wish to know, says the pious Cornelius a Lapide, how precious time
is: Ask the damned, for these know it from experience. Come, rich man, from
the abyss of hell, tell us what you would give for one year, one day, one
hour of time! I would, he says, give a whole world, all pleasures, all

treasures, and bear all torments. O, if only one moment were granted me to
have contrition for my sins, to obtain forgiveness of my crimes, I would
purchase this moment with every labor, with any penance, with all
punishments, torments and tortures which men ever suffered in purgatory or
in hell, even if they lasted hundreds, yes, thousands of millions of years!

O precious moment upon which all eternity depends! O, how many moments did
you, my dear Christian, neglect, in which you could have served God, could
have done good for love of Him, and gained eternal happiness by them, and
you have lost these precious moments. Remember, with one moment of time, if
you employ it well, you can purchase eternal happiness, but with all
eternity you cannot purchase one moment of time!


ASPIRATION Most bountiful God and Lord! I am heartily sorry, that I have so
carelessly employed the time which Thou bast given me for my salvation. In
order to supply what I have neglected, as far as I am able, I offer to Thee
all that I have done or suffered from the first use of my reason, as if I
had really to do and suffer it still; and I offer it in union with all the
works and sufferings of our Saviour, and beg fervently, that Thou wilt
supply, through His infinite merits, my defects, and be pleased with all my
actions and sufferings.

Be not drunk with wine, wherein is luxury!

[On the vice of drunkenness see the third Sunday after Pentecost. Here we
will speak only of those who make others drunk by encouragement.] The
Persian King Assuerus expressly forbade that any one should be urged to
drink at his great banquet. (Esth. I. 8.) This heathen who knew from the
light of reason, that it is immoral to lead others to intemperance, will


one day rise in judgment against those Christians who, enlightened by the
light of faith, would not recognize and avoid this vice. Therefore the
Prophet Isaias (V. 22.) pronounces woe to those who are mighty in drinking
and know how to intoxicate others; and St. Augustine admonishes us, by no
means to consider those as friends, who by their fellowship in drinking
would make us enemies of God.


GOSPEL (John IV. 46-53.) At that time, There was a certain ruler whose son
was sick at Capharnaum. He having heard that Jesus was come from Judea into
Galilee, went to him, and prayed him to come down, and heal his son; for he
was at the point of death. Jesus therefore said to him: Unless you see
signs and wonders, you believe not. The ruler with to him: Lord, come down
before my son die. Jesus saith to him: Go thy way, thy son liveth.


The man  believed the word which Jesus said to him, and went his way. And as he was
going down, his servants met him, and they brought word, saying that his
son lived. He asked therefore of them the hour wherein he grew better. And
they said to him: Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him. The
father therefore, knew that it was at the same hour that Jesus said to him:
Thy son liveth: and himself believed. and his whole house.

I.God permitted the son of the ruler to become sick that he might ask
Christ for the health of his son, and thus obtain true faith and eternal
happiness. In like manner, God generally seeks to lead sinners to Himself,
inasmuch as He brings manifold evils and misfortunes either upon the sinner
himself or on his children, property, etc. Hence David said: It is good for
me that thou hast humbled me, that I may learn thy justifications, (Ps.
CXVIII. 71.) and therefore he also asked God to fill the faces of sinners
with shame, that they should seek His name. (Ps. LXXXII. 17.) This happened
to those of whom David says: Their infirmities were multiplied: afterwards
they hastened in returning to God. (Ps. XV. 4.) O would we only do the
same! When God sends us failure of crops, inundations, hail-storms, dearth,
war, etc., He wishes nothing else than that we abandon sin and return to
Him. But what do we? Instead of hastening to God, we take refuge in
superstition, or we murmur against Him, find fault with or even blaspheme
His sacred regulations; instead of removing our sins by sincere penance, we
continually commit new ones, by murmuring and impatience, by hatred and
enmity, by rash judgments, as if the injustice and malice of others were
the cause of our misfortune. What will become of us if neither the benefits
nor the punishments of God make us better?

II. Christ said to this ruler: Unless you see signs and wonders, you
believe not. This was a reprimand for his imperfect faith; for if he had
truly believed Christ to be the Son of God, he would not have asked Him to
come to his house, but, like the centurion, would have believed Him able,
though absent, to heal His son. (Matt. VIII.) Many Christians deserve the
same rebuke from Christ, because they lose nearly all faith and confidence
in God, when He does not immediately help them in their troubles, as they
wish. He proves to us how displeasing such a want of confidence is to Him
by withdrawing His assistance and protection from the fickle and
distrustful. (Ecclus. II. 15.)

II. How much may not the example of the father of a family accomplish! This
ruler had no sooner received the faith, than his whole household was
converted and believed in Christ. Fathers and mothers by their good
example, by their piety, frequent reception of the Sacraments, by their
meekness, temperance, modesty and other virtues, may accomplish
incalculable good among their children and domestics.


There was a certain ruler whose son was sick. (John IV. 16.)
As a consolation in sickness, you should consider that God sends you this
affliction for the welfare of’ your soul, that you may know your sins; or
if you be innocent, to practice patience, humility, charity, etc., and
increase your merits. Therefore a holy father said to one of his
companions, who complained, because he was sick: “My son! if you are gold,
then you will be proved by sickness, but if you are mixed with dross, then
you will be purified.” “Many are vicious in health,” says St. Augustine,
“who would be virtuous in sickness;” and St. Bernard says: “It is better to
arrive at salvation through sickness, than to have health and be damned.”

It is also a powerful means of consolation in sickness, to represent to
ourselves the suffering Redeemer, who had no soundness from the top of His
head to the sole of His foot, and contemplating whom St. Bonaventure used
to cry out: “O Lord, I do not wish to live without sickness, since I see
Thee wounded so much.”

When sick, we should carefully examine, whether we possess any ill-gotten
goods, or have any other secret sin on our conscience; and if we are
conscious of any, we should quickly free ourselves from it by a contrite,
sincere confession, and by restoring the things belonging to others. Sins
are very often the cause of disease, and God does not bless the medicine
unless the sickness effects its object, that is, the sinners amendment.
Still less can we expect help, but rather temporal and eternal misfortune,
if we have recourse to superstition, and spells, as the King Ochozias
experienced, who was punished with death, because in sickness he had
recourse to the idol Beelzebub. (IV Kings I.)

PRAYER O Jesus, Thou true physician of souls, who dost wound and heal us,
yea, dost even permit sorrows and adversities to visit us that our souls
may have health, grant us the grace to use every bodily pain according to
Thy merciful designs for the promotion of our salvation.


Come down before my son die. (John IV. 49.)
All who have the charge of sick persons, should be like this father, that
is, they should first of all endeavor to call upon Jesus to come in the
most holy Sacrament, before the sick person is unable to receive Him. The
devil seeks to hinder nothing more than this. He excites the imagination of
the sick person, making him believe that he can live longer, that he will
certainly get well again, in order to ruin him easier afterwards, because
he defers his conversion. Those contribute to this end who through fear of
frightening the sick person or of annoying him, fail to call the priest at
the right time. This is cruel love, which deprives the sick person of the
salvation of his soul and eternal happiness, and brings with it a terrible
responsibility. Where there is question of eternity, no carefulness can be
too great. We should, therefore, choose the safest side, because the
suffering may easily increase and finally make the sick person unable to
attend to the affairs of his soul. We should, therefore, not conceal from
him the danger in which he is, and if he has still the use of his reason,
should call in the priest that he may receive the Last Sacraments. He will
not die sooner on that account, but rather derive the greatest benefit
therefrom, since his conscience will be cleansed from sin, which may be the
cause of his sickness, and perhaps, he may regain his health, or at least
be strengthened by the newly received grace of God, to bear his pains with
greater patience and to die far easier, securer, and more consoled. We
should also endeavor to encourage the sick person to resignation, and a
childlike confidence in God, should pray with him to strengthen him against
desponding thoughts, and the temptations of the devil; we should present
him a crucifix to kiss; repeat the holy names of Jesus, Mary and Joseph,
and other consolatory ejaculations, such as are found in prayer-books;
should sign him with the sign of the cross; sprinkle him with holy water,
and above all pray for a happy death. We should not weep and lament, by
which death is only made harder for him, nor should we hold useless, idle
and worldly conversations with him which will prevent him from thinking of
God and the salvation of his soul, and from preparing himself for the last
dangerous struggle. Finally, we should by no means suffer in his presence
persons who have given him occasions of committing sin, because they would
be obstacles to his sincere conversion.
There is truly no greater work of charity than to assist our neighbor to a
happy death.

The above is taken from “The Church’s Year” by Fr. Leonard Goffine –
available online at

Sincerely in Christ,
Our Lady of the Rosary Library
“Pray and work for souls”

To subscribe to this list visit

For good Catholic books, articles and religious goods visit




Facebook Comments

One thought on “In Time of Sickness ………….

Leave a Reply