Special Issue - Prayer

‘Tough girl’ offers it up

by Todd Habiger

ST. MARYS — With her slim build and grandmotherly looks, Eileen Knipp doesn’t look like the toughest gal you would ever stumble across — but she is.

Don’t believe me? Can you get dental work done without any pain medication? She does it all the time.

“I’ve always been a tough girl,” she said with a chuckle.

Instead of pain medication, Knipp offers her pain to the Lord by praying the Stations of the Cross. For as long as she can remember, Knipp has dealt with pain — specifically, severe leg cramps at night.

“If I tried to get up, I think I would fall,” she said. “So I just lay there, pray the Stations and think, ‘OK, I’m walking with the Lord. Surely, he hurt a heck of a lot more than I’m hurting.’”

Sometime as a child, Knipp started praying the Stations. She doesn’t know when and she doesn’t know why, but she’s always had a special affection for the Stations.

“To me, the Stations of the Cross are our whole life,” she said. “Our Lord suffered and died on the cross for us. I think that should be our number one prayer.”

Knipp has an active prayer life that doesn’t only involve pain. Before she gets into her vehicle, she says an Act of Contrition. While driving, she prays the rosary. For her, it’s as automatic as breathing.

But it’s the Stations of the Cross that really get her through life.

“We’ve all been given several crosses to bear,” Knipp said. “Naturally, we are going to fall like the Lord did. Hopefully we can bounce back.

“And hopefully, in the end, we rise to glory like the Lord did.”

About the author

Todd Habiger

Todd has been the production manager for The Leaven since 1995. Under his direction The Leaven has won multiple design awards from the Catholic Press Association. Prior to working at The Leaven, Todd was an award-winning writer for The Catholic Key newspaper in Kansas City, Mo. Todd is married to Lori Wood Habiger, a former Leaven employee herself. They have two children — Paige and Connor, and one dog — Joli.

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