Dad isn't home, but there has been an improvement: he had a fairly restful night and today said he "almost feels half human." This is happening on my brother's birthday. When asked what he wanted, he said, "The only thing I want is for this old man here to get better." Happy Birthday, Harold!
It is not only Harold's birthday, it is the old feast of St. Thecla (noted woman disciple of Paul, according to a third century "novel" entitled "The Acts of Paul and Thecla") and the current feast of St. Pio of Pieltrelcina, Padre Pio. On this day in 1968, I came home from school to be met at the door by my mother. Her face looked stricken, and she mournfully told us, "Padre Pio died." My response to that was a perfectly mystified, "Who is Padre Pio?"
This morning's Mass was celebrated by a priest who had been a Capuchin in the 60's, and who had spent a few days in community with Padre Pio in the friary. He devoted the whole homily to Padre Pio stories, and concluded by saying that what Padre Pio did, really, was live in communion with the sufferings of Jesus, and that is something every person can do in life. In fact, yesterday Dad had mentioned that he was trying to offer his sufferings up, but "It's very hard to do that!" God be praised, it is the will that counts here.
Thanks to all for the continuing prayers and encouragement.