Friday, September 07, 2018

Pages from the Past: When the Mute One Spoke

From three years ago. Sister C, with advanced Parkinson's, was losing the ability to speak; it was very difficult to understand the syllables she did manage to pronounce. Soon she would be reduced to inarticulate moans. Our Founder wrote a prayer accepting "all the pain, sorrow and affliction that will accompany" one's death; he said that offering our dying and death before the fact is highly meritorious. Sister C is showing me why.

Last night I passed through the infirmary to pick up my prescription, and there was Sr C, looking a bit lost. I tried to grasp what/where she wanted, but… 

In various difficult bits of conversation I asked her to pray for a big opportunity for the apostolate, for an underground Christian in Saudi Arabia, and for a project facing obstacles. She took a few steps down the hall while I continue to try and decipher her needs. Then she looked at me very gravely and said (all in Italian) words to this effect: "Be strong, but not too strong. We don’t need to be running around doing things. Everything is the Lord’s; it is he…" 

I wish I had gotten it all, but that was the takeaway for me. It seemed like a real moment of grace, because it is so hard for Sr C to speak at all. Her message—not to “force things” but to focus on Jesus and on his will (and his doing) is pretty necessary for me, because I focus so much on what the humans are doing.

Isn’t what she said consistent with the Gospel of “do not worry” from the Sermon on the Mount that was "given" to me last year?

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