Faith Is A Gift
By Naima S. Panow, MD, FRCS

Faith is seeing light with your heart, when all your eyes see is darkness.


I read this line many years ago and keep it on my desk. Whenever I passed through some difficulty, I remembered this line knowing my faith will always carry me through.


One time I was talking to the pastor in my church regarding the death of my family. He wrote me an email to say he is sorry for my loss and could not believe how terrible is to lose every member of your family. I told him, “Father it is not easy but having faith in my heart helped to pass through this. I had bilateral breast cancer, collapse lung, stroke after surgery, heart problem ended, with the implant of heart pacemaker to regulate my heartbeat. I had food poisoning in the airplane, which landed close to the North Pole to save my life. I was alone in that freezing area, but did not feel I was alone. I knew God is with me. I had fracture spine in Egypt, yet I never ever asked God, “Why me?” The truth is I have so much faith in my heart I accepted every thing with a smile. To me these things are minimal to what Our Lord went through.”

Father could not believe all this and said, “You look and act very healthy and you always do your best to help others and its true I never here you complained.” I smiled and told him, "it is my faith." I have always accepted God's wisdom. There is a reason for all things. We have to make the best of it.


When I had food poisoning in the airplane and landed close to the North Pole, I was in the ER suffering off hypothermia, hypotension, dehydration, heart fibrillation and chemical imbalance.  Two hours later, I regained my conscious. I looked around and asked them, “Where I am?” The doctor told me, "you are on the top of the world."

I smiled and asked, "where Santa lives?" Every one laughed and one said, "here we are working so had to revive her from this emergency life threatening situation, and she is joking and smiling. For me it was like I could see the Lord in the face of the doctor and nurses. They were there for me.


Father George Rahmi from Lebanon talked about faith in history. One Moslem leader said, “It is better to sleep with faith than to sleep with prayers.” Many of us say a prayer quickly before we go to sleep, but only few went silently to sleep with faith in their heart. Faith is a gift. Mother Teresa said, “The fruit of Silence is a Prayer. The fruit of Prayer is Faith.” Mother Teresa silent prayer deep from her heart gave her the deep faith. As Mother Teresa told me, “I did all this alone, but I have a deep faith in my heart.”


Father George Rahmi gave us the best example of faith in history. A Japanese famous doctor lived in Nagasaki with his wife and two children. The wife asked her husband to take the children to be with his mother until the bombing stopped. The wife was of Catholic faith and the husband, was converted to the Catholic faith through his wife. The doctor took the children to be with his mother and went to his hospital to work as usual. That day, the US dropped the Atom bomb on Nagasaki. The doctor rushed to check on his wife. He found, the skeleton of his wife holding a Rosary in her hand. His wife was gone, the house was gone but the Rosary was not, destroyed by the bomb.  The doctor held the rosary in his hand and kept it close to his heart until the day he died.


Dr. Takashi Naki wrote many books related to the fruit of the war. The war affected the innocent people. His books were, translated to many languages. 

He was famous for his writing. The faith in God helped him pass through all his sufferings. Even though the bomb destroyed many churches, the doctor wanted to bring back the faithful to the church. He ordered and installed the bells on the church. As soon as the church Bells start ringing again, the faithful rushed to attend. There was a movie called, “The bells of Nagasaki” The movie, was made according to the book of Dr. Takashi Naki.


His two sons were, brought up with faith. When he was dying, the Japanese Emperor and the PM visited him before he died. The Holy Father Pope Pious XII, sent his representative to visit him and were present for his funeral mass. After his death, they read his will. All his books were, donated as a gift to the Japanese Government. The Government kept the books in the Japanese Library. He wrote down the following points. Millions should read them and know the fruit of the war. He added any income received from his books should be spent on the poor.


His will to his two sons were:

1-Receive the daily communion. The body of Christ would save you.

2- Pray the Rosary daily. Mary the mother of God would carry your intentions to her son.


The will never mentioned the wealth of the father.  Faith was the best gift he left to his two sons. History proved that his two sons never forgot their father’s advice.


Clara Miyazaki my friend told me how the faith grew in her heart. As I mentioned her before in another article, Clara was Atheist until the age of 60. She went to Medjugorje to find out what it is all about. Three years later Clara was, diagnosed having the Macular Degeneration. Her mother was already blind and Clara was getting the same disease.


Clara joined a group going to Medjugorje again to pray and with true faith, she asked for a miracle. Clara was standing on line to receive the gift of healing, a nun sitting on the bench pointed to Clara to sit next to her. Clara sat next to the nun and asked her "please save my place, I would go and tell my friend where I am sitting." (I met her friend Yas in Alaska) Clara put her hand on the nun’s knee asking her "please pray for me because I am going blind." The nun put her hand on Clara’s hand and told her, “You are in God’s hands.”


The nun told Clara, I am going to ask someone to hold your hand to receive the gift of healing. One of her group came and helped Clara. As soon as, Clara received the healing oil on her eyes, face, forehead and hands, she felt something happened. Clara fell on the ground and passed out. Friends rushed to help her. Clara felt there were two hose like pipes coming out of her eyes. She got up and searched to get her glasses on, but she could not see. She took the glasses off to find out she was completely healed. Clara went back to Salt Lake City to her doctor. He checked her eyes again and said, “This is a miracle.”


Clara had so much faith in her heart. One time she heard there is an Icon of Our Lady dripping oil from her eyes. The Icon is present at the Orthodox Church in Chicago.

While Clara was praying, the nun she met in Medjugorje was there. The nun told Clara, “Do you remember me? We met in Medjugorje three years ago.” Clara said, sister where have you been? I have not seen you since then.  The nun looked at Clara and told her, “Clara I am Mary the mother of God.” The nun disappeared. Clara went down on the floor and passed out. Her daughter was with her and asked the people to leave her alone. The daughter knew something had happened.


Father Pope the Jesuit said in one of his homily, “Many Catholics do not believe they are receiving the body of Christ in their Communion.”


Clara said, “I was sure the body of Christ should be given by the priest only.” Clara used to go where the priest is standing. One time there was a Eucharistic man giving the communion and Clara had to receive the host from this man. As soon as she received the host on her tongue, she heard a voice telling her, “This is my Body and I am in it.”  Clara went down again knowing she was told by the Lord himself. That is faith. Clara did receive the fruit of her faith. The Lord himself told her that.


One time I was upset noticing one of the faithful going to get Communion with a chewing gum in her mouth. I asked her, how could you do that? The woman looked at me and said, “It does not hurt me why it should hurt you?”


Mother Teresa said, “Holiness is not a luxury, every one of us can reach it.” Father La Salle a Dominican priest said in a homily, “The eternal life is free, but we pay for it in our cheap actions.” It is true, we could have it free but we decide to reach for power, greed, positions and high status forgetting we are only guests in this world.


Father George Rahmi of Lebanon talked about faith the other day. He read a book about the Moslem General, Selah Al Dean Al Ayobi, who defeated the Crusaders in the Middle East. Before his death, he told his son; “My son you are going to replace me. My advice to you, never forget the faith in your heart. Your faith would guide you to judge right better than to judge wrong. If you judged an innocent person wrong, you would never forget your mistake. My son, try not to see blood shed. All my life I have been fighting and saw thousands of bodies around me. Blood shed was common to me. During death, we are all the same. Remember your faith.”


This world is so happy to celebrate the blood shed. The more they kill the more they could conquer. When Sharon was asked, “How do you feel five, Palestinian children, were killed by your soldiers for no reason.”  He said, “I am sorry, but it is worth it.” Faith is not in his heart.


The US forced the embargo on Iraq, through UN for more than 12 ½ years. One Million Iraqi children died due to lack of medicine, food, no electricity and more polluted water, millions were born severely deformed, due to the use of Depleted Uranium and chemical weapons by the US and UK. When the US ambassador to UN was, asked, is it worth it, to destroy the new generation of Iraq? The answer was, “I know it is sad, but it is worth it.” They judge wrong and kill the innocent children and all this for what?  The Moslem general Selah Al Dean Al Ayobi, realized these things speaking to his sons just before his death.


One of the priests in Lebanon said a short talk about love and faith. "There is a very powerful and rich man, he went to heaven. Saint Peter met him at the door and took him to see where he is going to live. They passed a nice house with small garden. St Peter told him, this is where your assistant is living. He passed a large beautiful house and asked St. Peter, Is this mine? St Peter said, this where your gardener is staying. They arrived to a very small place like a small tent. St Peter told him, this is where you are going to stay. The rich man was upset and said, 'why my poor gardener got the large house and I get this small tent?' St Peter told him, “This is the amount you paid for when you were down on earth.


It is not enough to pray and forget those who need your help. Use your gift of faith by example and not by word only.



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