St. Alphonsus, preacher, confessor, founder, bishop,
doctor of prayer and friend of the poor,
you are also the special patron of all who suffer from arthritis
and the pains of many years.
When our fingers twist with pain,
keep us focused on the hands of Christ pierced with ugly nails.
When our knees knob with endless aches,
allow us to see the knees of Jesus
smashing to the street under the heavy cross.
When our backs stiffen with soreness,
let us remember the back of Christ thrown across the cold,
rough wood of the cross.
When our joints, hips, arms, legs and knuckles hurt so much
that tears well up in our eyes,
help us to recall the tears,
the sweat and the blood that flowed from our crucified Jesus
Who suffered so much more for each of us.
afflicted with curvature of the spine
and nailed to a wheelchair cross in your final years,
teach us to unite all our pains
with the dreadful sufferings of Jesus on the cross.
We ask you to ease our pains
but more so to enable us to be one with Jesus
in his great act of dying and rising.