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Question from Anon on 2/18/2013:

I am a teenager which tries their hardest to love God with their whole being.

On November 25, 2011, I fell down the stairs and ever since I have had extreme pain in my lower back. This wouldn't be so uncommon, except that I am only 15. When the pain persisted for more than a few months, I started doing back therapy. The therapy helped lessen the original acute pain, but it was still a perpetual pain that has persisted. After more than a year, I finally convinced my parents to get me a standard X-ray. Strangely, they showed up normal. This completely confused me. To this day, I still experience pain in my back all the time, and recently it has gotten worse.

Iíve started telling myself that this pain is my sharing in the pain of Jesus when he was crucified.

I feel guilty when I ďwasteĒ prayers on myself. I feel that times I am praying for myself and my healing are times that I could be praying for my friend with depression, or our country, or someone with more extreme problems. When I look at the things that people go through, I feel selfish for wanting God to fix my back. I remember once asking God to let me bear the stigmata of Jesus Christ. Iíve asked him maybe three or four times in the past. I havenít in more than a few years from what I remember. Also, I wasnít as religious as I am now at the time. Believe or not, I remember having the underlying selfish thought of becoming famous for bearing the stigmata. I realize now how HORRIBLE that is now.. I donít feel that way anymore. However, do you think that Jesus may have answered my request in a roundabout way by giving me my injured back?

Ending tonight, it will be my seventh Novena to fix my back. Every ninth morning, I wake up, excited to see if my back if fixed. If it isnít, I tell myself the reason is that I hadnít been to confession in a while, or I had been overly mean to my siblings that week. I remember when I was as young as six years old, laying in bed, and just asking God for some kind of sign that He was real. I was young and innocent. I hadnít even received my First Communion yet. However, do you think part of the reason that He might not be fixing my back is because He knows that, deep down, I have an unconscious longing to have a sign from Him? And His response, being no, is Him asking me to believe without a sign? I havenít and wonít let myself lose faith in God and His power, but I am very confused, and would like to know what you think about this. Thank you for your time.

Answer by Richard Geraghty on 4/8/2013:

Dear Anon,

You have to remember (your seem to do a pretty good job of remembering) that God always answers your prayers. But he answers them in HIS way, not necessarily in the way you would like. So keep praying for light about the way to handle your problem. Don't think that God hasn't cured your back because you have done something wrong. Just keep praying for light.

Dr. Geraghty


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