Please pass this partial repost of last year's Lenten newsletter along to people. There is no regular way to get to it on Bing; so perhaps this will help. Pray.
At the Mayo, I lay in bed one day in particularly excruciating pain. My memory was after the first surgery but before they had found and acknowledged the perforated secum (ruptured bowel). The pain meds were not cutting it much at all. I couldn’t pray or use words well in my head.
That’s when it happened. Eyes closed, with my hand barely pointing upward from my abdomen, I was suddenly touching something warm, round, and slimy, with a sharp-edged metal piece coming out of the top. I opened my eyes in my mind and it was the foot of Christ on the Cross. I couldn’t see the other foot, I was in such close proximity. I looked up and could not even see His knee, the bright blinding light from above was so intense, completely swallowing the entire room. I was almost instantaneously drawn into an inferno of pain, like fire all over my whole body, wracking, and boiling my skin. Later when I was remembering, I recalled that the most intensity was in my palms and feet.
My Sweet Savior, Jesus Christ, through constant prayer and the intercession of Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin, and through the loving care of my family, Lisa, Abbie, and Dory are mainly what got me through this ordeal. I think of St. Paul, and after having had a particularly torturous scourging, was singing praises to God even after midnight in the jail, chained heavily (against his wounds in dirt and skin agitation), when the walls shook and the chains fell off everyone. He stopped the guard from killing himself, and was “cleaned up” at the guard’s house before baptizing him, showing he was quite a mess. Wow, singing praises in this situation, not knowing his fate too.
I was not always singing God's praises at the Mayo, but hope to if I am ever in another situation of intense physical suffering for Christ. My heart goes out to our modern martyrs in dangerous places. As my niece Bernadette Rogers, young Catholic mother of eight has tattooed on her, "Make my suffering perfect."
Take Up Thy Cross
Take up thy cross, the Savior said,
If thou wouldst my disciple be;
Deny thyself, the world forsake,
And humbly follow after me.
Take up thy cross, let not its weight
Fill thy weak spirit with alarm;
His strength will bear thy spirit up,
And brace thy heart and nerve thine arm.
To Thee, great Lord, the One in Three,
All praise for evermore ascend;
O grant us in our home to see
the heav'nly life that knows no end. Amen
From the Liturgy of the Hours for Benedictine Oblates, St. Meinrad Archabbey, P. 184
Pray for the canonization of Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin, please!