WHO AM I THAT NEEDS HEALING?

WHO AM I THAT NEEDS HEALING?

Excerpt from Healed Through Cancer and Other Adversities by James Littleton

Visit http://www.healedthroughcancer.com/

Purchase book at http://www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore/book.php?w=978-1-62295-265-6

Or ask your library to obtain it for you at no cost to you.

 

Email author at healedthroughcancer@gmail.com

 

“I and the children whom Yahweh has given me are signs and

portents in Israel from Yahweh Sabaoth who dwells on Mount

Zion” (Isaiah 8:18, jb).

As I write this portion in March 2011, I am fifty-two years old.

I have been married to my wonderful bride, Kathleen, for twentyseven

years. God blessed us with nineteen children through no

merit of our own. Our living children, aged twenty-five to five,

are: Shannon Rose, Tara Kathleen, Grace Ellen, Colleen Anne,

Deirdre Marie, Bridget Jane, Shane Francis, Fiona Mary, Maura

Therese, Clare Margaret, Patrick Michael, Mairead Siobhan,

Brighde Rosemarie, Shealagh Maeve; and our miscarried and still

born children are: Maximilian Mary, Theresa Gerard, James Paul,

Frances Xavier, and Joseph Faustina.

I grew up in the middle class in a fine family on the South Side

of Chicago. I was raised Catholic but did not practice my faith

very well. By the time I reached age thirteen I began to live a very

sinful and dissolute life. You could perhaps find me on weekends

at 1:00 a.m. walking down Western Avenue with a cigarette

dangling from my mouth and a bottle of wine tucked under my

coat, drunk as can be. This was not my wonderful parents’ fault, by

the way. I was entirely uncontrollable.

James M. Littleton

48

As I grew, I was a hedonist, totally self-centered, mean, cruel,

and getting in all sorts of trouble—most of which I never got

caught for.

I was a regular at a local bar at about age sixteen. As a teenager

and young man I got drunk practically every night or would at

least drink to excess. There were many sins in my life. I certainly

broke every commandment. I did not murder anyone, so I thought

I was better than I was, although in actual fact I did break the

fifth commandment, “You shall not kill” (Exodus 20:13), by

endangering myself and others often with my behavior.

I eventually met Kathleen in my early twenties, a miracle of

miracles. We were married in 1983. I had no formal education past

high school. She was beautiful and was finishing up law school. This

was only possible by the grace of God’s most perfect providence.

When I had met Kathleen I was at a party at the University of

Illinois at Champaign. I was a dock worker at UPS. I had gone to

the U of I just for the party as I did not attend the university. I saw

Kathleen across the room and experienced an amazing moment

of grace where I knew with certainty that we were going to be

married. I could not explain this at the time, but I now see this

as a movement of the Holy Spirit. I introduced myself to her and

told her that she was going to be my bride. This, of course, initially

made her think I was crazy. But I pursued her for a couple of

years and eventually, by God’s grace, won her over, as can now be

attested to by the existence of our nineteen children.

To make a long story short, we regrettably started off our

marriage contracepting, which is contrary to the Catholic Church’s

profound teaching regarding openness to life. After a year or two,

Kathleen was moved to stop taking the Pill. We quickly conceived

our first child, Shannon Rose.

At this point in my life most people would have considered

me a good family man, although I was still drinking too much

and was a major sinner in numerous ways. Then in 1991 when

we had five children, I had a major conversion to the fullness of

Healed through Cancer

49

the Catholic faith. After this conversion I was healed in many

ways from my sinfulness, though I still struggle with many faults

as my conversion continues. By the grace of God I left the heavy

drinking behind many years ago.

My conversion happened when there was a report of the Blessed

Virgin Mary appearing in Hillside, a suburb of Chicago, at Queen

of HeavenCemetery. I packed up Kathleen and the kids in the car

and went there with the purpose of looking for signs more than

any piety on my part. I did not see any provable miracles, though

there were some interesting signs. But I was moved powerfully by

the Holy Spirit. I was particularly influenced by the striking piety

of the people praying there. The Holy Spirit showered tremendous

graces on me through no merit of my own. I was being healed by

God through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and I

experienced a profound peace and the presence of God.

Someone handed me a holy card of the fifteen promises of

Mary to those who pray the rosary. I took this holy card and put it

on my dresser where I generally ignored it for about a year. Then

one day I decided to start praying the rosary. I could not recall

how to pray it, so I believe I went to a local Catholic gift shop

where I obtained a rosary and a pamphlet. I began by praying one

decade of the rosary per day, in other words, twelve short prayers

that take about three minutes to pray. I thought to myself that it

was hard to believe that any one could pray so much in one day—

three whole minutes!

Soon I was praying the entire rosary each day. In a short time

it occurred to me that Mass was probably offered at my parish

daily, which of course it was. One morning I went to Mass on a

weekday, which is not required of a Catholic like Sunday Mass,

though it is highly recommended to attend daily. At this Mass I

was once again overwhelmed by an outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

I experienced God’s love and presence in a deep and powerful way,

with tears cascading uncontrollably down my face.

James M. Littleton

50

Soon I was going to Mass every day except Saturday, presuming

that God would know that I would need to sleep in on Saturdays.

That false reasoning quickly fell aside; I began attending Mass

on Saturday too. Soon I was moved by the Holy Spirit with an

understanding that if attendance at Holy Mass was the greatest

thing one could do for himself with infinite graces available for

the taking, how could I leave my children at home? So I began

to bring all of my children, except the ones in diapers, thereby

still falling short of what God wanted me to do. I reasoned that

certainly God would understand that I could not be bothered

changing babies’ diapers at Mass.

About eight years later Kathleen was moved to come to daily

Mass with us, and she has never missed a day since except when

in the hospital delivering babies. The day the baby came home she

resumed daily Mass attendance with us along with the new baby.

We have attended daily Mass as a complete family ever since—

all of us, from newborn to parents. Those of our children who

are away at college and such have continued the practice of daily

Mass attendance.

We began to pray daily as a family including the rosary and

Scripture. Our family also began to attend the Sacrament of

Reconciliation weekly, which has been a tremendous grace for

us. We embarked on attending Eucharistic adoration regularly

(praying before the Eucharist, truly Jesus’s Body, Blood Soul and

Divinity, exposed for adoration in the monstrance). This was all

God’s gift. All glory to Him!

Our children became very active in the Catholic groups in

the Church. Kathleen and I engaged in many forms of ministry

including spiritual direction for others, by God’s grace.

Who am I? I am an imperfect sinner, whose sins are as scarlet,

but who has been on a powerful road of conversion for the past

twenty years. (Why is it taking so long for me to be purified,

Lord?) I am exceedingly grateful to God for His inexhaustible

patience and mercy toward me. “Though your sins are like scarlet,

Healed through Cancer

51

they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson,

they shall be like wool” (Isaiah 1:18, jb). By God’s grace, I am now

a man who puts God and His things first in my life. Second is my

wife, and third is my children. Work comes in fourth place and

ministry fifth, though I make room for all of these.

Believe me, if God can lead me, a major sinner, to conversion,

he can lead anyone!

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength,

and who judged me faithful enough to call me into his

service even though I used to be a blasphemer and did all I

could to injure and discredit the faith. Mercy, however, was

shown me, because until I became a believer I had been

acting in ignorance; and the grace of our Lord filled me

with faith and with the love that is in Christ Jesus. Here

is a saying that you can rely on and nobody should doubt:

that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.

I myself am the greatest of them; and if mercy has been

shown to me, it is because Jesus Christ meant to make me

the greatest evidence of his inexhaustible patience for all

the other people who later have to trust in him to come to

eternal life.

1 Timothy 1:12–17 (jb)

As I am sure would apply to most people with cancer, I never

expected to be suffering from leukemia. This is very difficult on a

human level; however, I know that it is encompassed in God’s will

where He is mysteriously bringing a tremendous good out of it for

me and for others who I pray and intercede for. Glory to God in

the highest! “Glory to God in the highest heaven” (Luke 2:14, jb)

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About jamesmlittleton

James Littleton is happily married to Kathleen for thirty-three years, father of nineteen, fourteen living on earth ages thirty to ten, and five living in heaven. James is a hope-filled, inspirational national speaker, author, evangelist, retreat master, co-founder and co-director of Forming Faithful Families™ and One More Baby for Jesus™, host of Forming Faithful Families Radio and Television. Learn more at www.formingfaithfulfamilies.com or email formingfaithfulfamilies@gmail.com
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4 Responses to WHO AM I THAT NEEDS HEALING?

  1. Rebekah says:

    Praying for you and those that love you James. Losing my earthly father shortly to cancer.. It is a pain that doesn’t fully heal. Keep trusting and praying. I will pray on your behalf! God strengthen, heal and continue to use you for His glory until He desires that you meet with Him. Healing love and prayer in the Name of Jesus!

    • Thank you Rebekah. I am doing quite well. Count on my prayers as well. God bless you.

      • And I am praying for your father as well. Our Loving God is so close to you and your father and loves him beyond our imagination. He will certainly see to a great good out of everything. Keep trusting jesus. He will NEVER let you down.
        Praise Jesus!

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