4:00 a.m.

February 8, 2015

Journal entry


At an inner city New Orleans parish today.

After Mass an elderly black woman comes up to me and speaks with me.

“Good morning, young man. Are you a visitor?”

“Yes, Ma’am.”

“So nice to have you here. And your children. Not many families left in church these days.”


“I’m Edna, nice to meet you.”

“Tom, nice to meet you as well.”

“Tom, do you need anything prayed for? I’m part of a prayer chain. We get on the phone every morning, starting at 4:00 a.m.. We get on the phone and we pray together for the intentions folks give us. So many things to pray for! My own family’s enough to keep me busy 24/7. You got that? There’s always trouble out there. Trouble. What’s wrong with this young generation? Lord have mercy.”

“Wow. That’s really remarkable you pray every day at 4:00 a.m.”

“But son, don’t think it’s remarkable. It’s not. It’s just what the Lord wants. He wants us to turn to Him in trouble, to lift up our voices for others. Early in the morning, the Bible says, we must rise and lift our hands in praise and petition. Don’t you think that’s what we supposed to do?”

“Yes, I do.”

“Yes, Lord. Yes, we rely on His grace. Mercy, Lord. We rely on your mercies. Everlasting, Jesus. Your kindness is everlasting. Isn’t He awesome? Yes! Now what you need prayin’ for?”

“My family, my job. . .”

“Oh, yes, Lord. Lord, hear your son Tom. His family, God, his family needs your blessings. Take his beautiful children in your loving arms. Help him be the father you made him to be, God. The husband his wife deserves. And Jesus, make him a godly man in his work. Hard workin’, honest, just, like St. Joseph. Keep him in gainful employ, O Father. . .Okay, now I’ll be praying for you with my prayer team tomorrow morning. Alright?”

“Yes, thank you.”

“Alright. Amen. You’re welcome. It’s why we’re here, right? To rely on each other. To lean on one another. To rely on Jesus. [she starts singing…] Oh, what a friend we have in Jesus. . .[she sang the whole thing]”

“Wow, Edna, I want your faith.”

“No, son, you want your faith. We each got our special way of loving God. Be the man you’re made to be. God bless you.”

She made the sign of the cross on my forehead and walked off.

Wow. Listen to what she sang for me:

5 comments on “4:00 a.m.


    And with Edna all the faithful and the commununion of saints we pray Glory Glory Glory hosannah in the highest blessed is he or she who comes in the name of the lord, hossanah in the highest . Thank you thomas and thank you Edna . P.B.W.Y.

  2. Ben says:

    Sounds like an awesome lady

  3. Jennifer says:

    Beautiful! Praise God.

  4. Michael says:

    Well………….. or was it WELL……….. thank you for sharing this beautiful woman’s faith with us.

  5. nos. says:

    Visited my ill friend Jerry this morning. Physically ill but spiritually a giant . Hardy able to speak yet still has a wit . I went in and greeted him in Greek ( the very little that I remember from Greek school as a child,yet another story). I kissed him profusely about his forehead and cheek saying this is this son this is from this daughter and so on . I then told him how handsome he was. With eyes closed as is usual at this point , with a weak but clear voice he says to me ” you liar ” while I roared a small grin covered his beautiful emancipated face. I proceeded to pray the Our Father , the Hail Mary , and the Glory Be, after which eyes still closed he says – always pray -. I will my friend I will.You would have loved him thomas,you to ” J” , his intellect was truly amazing not because of its enormous breadth but because of his great humility in its presentation . He could converse with the brightest such as you two, then the next breath speak to someone like me in a way I could totally understand. Oh how I shall miss him . I laughed out loud the other day after contemplating my prayer for a miracle. GOD granting it and Jerry coming up to me and with his droll wit saying to me- you and your mustard seed…….. holding up his thumb and forefinger pressed together…….. I was this close,THIS CLOSE!!!!! .GOD willing soon my dear Jerry soon . AGAPE TO ALL P.B.W.Y.

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