Cataract Surgery in the Past/What is the Goal to Prayer

Last week we learned what cataracts are and where they are located (refer to last articles on Facebook or EyeMazing Optical.com). Humans were trying to figure out how they could restore one’s vision as far back as the 5th century BC as determined from Sanskrit manuscripts. 1 In those times, only very advanced cataracts could be treated with the technique called couching.2 In this technique, the cataract is detached and made to fall backwards into the vitreous by striking the eye with sufficient force to cause the zonules that hold the lens in place to break allowing the lens to fall back. Later on this procedure was ‘improved ’ by inserting a needlelike object into the eye to break the zonules.3 In 29 AD, the technique called needling or discussion was developed.4 In this procedure, a needle was inserted into the eye to slice up the cataract into smaller parts so that the body could easily absorb it. There are many problems with all these techniques such as infection, inflammation and blurry vision. 
The first reported surgical cataract removal occurred in 1748 by Jacques Daniel in Paris.5 In his technique, the cataract once again needed to be more advanced than in today’s standard to allow the whole lens to be removed in one piece. The surgery entailed making an incision halfway along the circumference of the cornea. Fine sutures had not been invented at this time, so patients were immobilized with sandbags. They were placed around the patient’s head until the surgical wound healed. Unfortunately, many patients would die due to being immobilized for the length of time required for the wound to heal.6 
Shortly after Jacques Daniel’s technique, Samuel Sharp of London developed a technique to extract an intact cataract.7 An incision was made and pressure was applied to the eye with his thumb until the cataract protruded through the incision wound. In 1902, tools such as the forceps and suction cup were developed to aid in the removal of the cataracts.8
As cataract removal surgery improved over time, an implantable lens to replace the cataract still had not been developed. Not until the mid 20th century did an implantable lens become available. Our next discussion will be on the artificial implantable lens.
What is the Goal to Prayer
Do we pray to give thanks to God for all that we have? Or do we pray when we are in need of His help? There is more to prayer than just these typical reasons- it’s about building a friendship with the Lord!
God desires to be with us, to be friends with us, to offer Himself to us. The Creator of all things visible and invisible, the One who can have anything doesn’t just want but desires to hang out with us. This statement should floor us! It should put us in complete awe and wonder that God wants a relationship with us. He doesn’t want to make a relationship with us because of our financial wealth, influence, or power. He wants a relationship with just us as we are and and this is evident through the crucification of Jesus.
As we answer His call and “hang out” with Him, our friendship will grow and we will gradually transform, but into what? To answer this, we must first understand what friendship is. The ancient Romans described friendship as a bond between people with the same likes and dislikes. As the friendship grows, so does the conformity. We see this happen in our relationships with friends, family and spouse. And so, as our prayer life grows, our likes and dislikes should align to those of the Father. If it does not align, we need to figure out why we aren’t in synch with Him. 
After truly encountering God in prayer, we will eventually become a different person. Something will occur in us when we are in communion with Him. If we truly open ourselves to His friendship He will give Himself to us and there will begin an alignment to Him. Our old self will die away and be replaced by Jesus. We will be sharing more and more characteristics with the Father. We will become more Christ-like and become more whole... more holy. 
Ask yourself these questions to help improve your own prayer life: 
1) Do I need help from someone so I can be accountable for my own prayer life? If so, ask a friend or family member to remind or encourage you to pray, join a prayer/Bible group, etc. 
2) Do I approach God in prayer out of appeasement or obligation to Him, or is it truly out of love to talk and listen to Him? If it’s not the latter, ask yourself why it isn’t and then ask Him what can be done to get to that place. 
3) How would you really describe your friendship with Jesus and God (be honest)? Is it truly a friendship, or is it more like an acquaintance? Are you truly putting the effort to build the friendship, or are you just minimally keeping the channel of communications open?9
1. Cataract Surgery Across Time. www.uniteforsight.org/global-health-university/cataract-surgery2.Bellan, Lorne. The Evolution of Cataract Surgery:The Most Common Eye Procedure in Older Adults. Geriatrics & Aging2008;11(6):328-332. 3. Bellan, Lorne. The Evolution of Cataract Surgery:The Most Common Eye Procedure in Older Adults. Geriatrics & Aging2008;11(6):328-332 4.Cataract Surgery Across Time. www.uniteforsight.org/global-health-university/cataract-surgery 5. Cataract Surgery in the Modern Era. American Academy of Ophthalmology. 2008www.aaofoundation.org/what/heritage/exhibits/online/cataract/ antiquity.cfm. 6. Bellan, Lorne. The Evolution of Cataract Surgery:The Most Common Eye Procedure in Older Adults. Geriatrics & Aging2008;11(6):328-332 7. Cataract Surgery Across Time. www.uniteforsight.org/global-health-university/cataract-surgery 8. Cataract Surgery Across Time. www.uniteforsight.org/global-health-university/cataract-surgery 9. Inspired & based on a talk by Fr. John Riccardo titled: What We Have Here is a Failure to Communicate: Prayer- Quality Time with Your Father

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