Skip to main content

Emergency rooms, dates nights and carrying your cross

When my kids were little, I joked that I had my own coffee cup at the local emergency room.  I was there so often, they just figured I deserved one.  Eldest Son was always kind of accident prone, Dark-haired daughter was a daredevil, and Youngest Son had a thing for developing pneumonia - usually at about 3 a.m.

Lately though, it's been me and Dear Husband off to the ER for our own ailments.  He seems to have developed some sort of heart "thing" (we are awaiting word from the cardiologist) and I have an old problem due to a horse-back riding accident that flairs up once in awhile.  Let's just say that the ER staff is considering putting my old coffee cup back out on the shelf.  I've also told Dear Husband that a trip to the ER does NOT constitute a date, despite the fact that we are "out on the town" without children.

I don't suppose that anyone enjoys a trip to the ER when they or someone they love is the patient.  I certainly don't enjoy the pain that typically makes it a necessary trip for me.  However, I have always found the ER to be a really good place to pray.  I mean that.

The hospital we go to is a Catholic one, and it is where the street people of our city typically go, as they know they will be seen there.  Often these folks are just looking for a warm bed, a meal and some attention.  I remember one memorable night when the guy in the "curtain" next to us kept insisting he was a hemophiliac, and they couldn't discharge him until they figured that out.  Given the smell emanating from his cubicle, the hemophilia had apparently developed due to large quantities of cheap alcohol.

Despite his ruse, the staff was caring and professional.  The staff at this ER is always caring and professional.  I enjoy praying for them, even when I have to wait awhile to be seen.

Last night, there was a baby in the ER somewhere, screaming.  Not crying:  screaming.  Whatever was going on, this poor little soul was in pain and scared.  I can only imagine how the mother felt.  So, prayers for them too.

The halls buzz with EMTs and police officers.  Their jobs are to deal with people under frightening and often dangerous circumstances.  I prayed for them too.

Across town, in another hospital, a friend of mine was in labor for her baby girl.  I knew the pain I was suffering wasn't going to have the delightful end hers would, but I was hoping that my prayers would help ease some of her pain.

Years ago, Archbishop Fulton Sheen said this:

Think of how much suffering there is in hospitals, among the poor, and the bereaved. Think also of how much of that suffering goes to waste! How many of those lonesome, suffering, abandoned, crucified souls are saying with Our Lord at the moment of consecration, "This is my body. Take it"? And yet that is what we all should be saying at that second:






I give myself to God.
Here is my Body. Take it.
Here is my Blood. Take it.
Here is my Soul, my Will, my Energy, my Strength,
my Property, my Wealth - all that I have. It is Yours.
Take it! Offer it! Offer it with Thyself to the heavenly Father
in order that He, looking down on this Great Sacrifice,
may see only Thee, His beloved Son, in Whom He is well pleased.
Transmute the poor bread of my life into Thy Divive Life;
thrill the wine of my wasted life into Thy Divine Spirit;
unite my broken heart with Thy Heart;
change my cross into a Crucifix.


Let not my abandonment, and my sorrow, and my bereavement go to waste.
Gather up the fragments,
and as the drop of water is absorbed by the wine at the Offertory of the Mass,
let my life be absorbed in Thee;
let my little cross be entwined with Thy Great Cross,
so that I may purchase the joys of everlasting happiness in union with Thee.


Consecrate these trials of my life which would go unrewarded unless united with Thee;
transubstantiate me so that like bread which is now Thy Body,
And wine which is now Thy Blood, I too may be wholly Thee.
I care not if the species remain, or that, like the bread and the wine,
I seem to all earthly eyes the same as before.


My station in life, my routine duties, my work, my family -
all these are but the species of my life which may remain unchanged;
but the substance of my life, my soul, my mind, my will, my heart -
transubstantiate them, transform them wholly into Thy service,
so that through me all may know how sweet is the love of Christ. Amen.

I can tell you from experience this is hard prayer to pray.  I think if I was stuck in a room, isolated, I'm not sure I could pray it.  But in the ER, with the flow of humanity in front of your room, the cries of those in pain, the professionalism of the staff that melds into a kind word and a soothing touch, God allows me to pray it. 

Date nights in the ER are the pits.  However, prayer nights in the ER are a great blessing.  I do not wish anyone a trip to the ER, but if you find yourself there, pray a bit.  It is a humbling experience, rich in grace and God's almighty presence.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Trying to "end run" God

If you're a football fan, you know what an end run is. From Merriam-Webster:
a football play in which the ballcarrier attempts to run wide around the end of the line We try to "end run" God a lot. I do. I figure I know better. I've got this - no need to worry the Big Guy about such a trivial thing.

Of course, it never works.

Like the puppy above, when we try and evade the tough obstacle (even though we KNOW we will eventually have to do it), we end up - well, off in the bushes.

But oh! How I wished my way worked. I'd love to take a flying leap and land smoothly and gracefully. People would be in awe, as if watching Simone Biles nail a balance beam routine that no one else would even attempt. I would shyly look down and blush - just lightly - and acknowledge (But humbly! Oh so humbly!) my achievement.

But no: I am the one pulling myself out of the bushes, scratches all over my legs and twigs in my hair. I'd hear that gentle but loving voice of God saying, &quo…

So close to Jesus

This past Sunday, at Mass, Dear Husband and I had the great good fortune of having a dad, toddler and infant sit next to us in the front pew.

"Good fortune?" you say. Sounds horrible. Kids are so distracting. Put 'em in the nursery.

Nope. We sit up in the front pew, and always invite parents with young kids to come and sit with us. Having raised 5 hyper kids, we can pretty much ignore anything, plus kids do much better when they can see what's going on.

I have to admit, I wanted the toddler to act up a bit so I could whisper to the dad, "I'll watch the baby if you have to take him out."

Instead, we saw something rather remarkable.

Oh, the toddler (not quite 2) was a toddler. He was a bit anty. He wasn't quite sure that he liked seeing his mommy in front, cantoring, where he couldn't get to her. He whined and fussed a bit.

But during the Consecration, his enormous blue eyes locked onto the priest. That baby boy saw Jesus up there. You could just…

Fading Into Friday

It's been a long week. Monday was just ... bad. I ticked off our IT guy at work by opening up one of those d*%$ emails that as soon as you click on it, you think, "Oops." So I trotted over to his office, and he promptly yelled at me. Like I was a child. Or stupid. Or a stupid child.

This was after I found out that every imaginable driving route from my home to office and back home again is under construction. Can't get there from her. Orange barrels. Must as well sleep in the office.
This, combined with the fact that I am now the ONLY person on the planet who stills checks their blind spot before changing lanes, makes me want to quit my job and go live in a yurt.

Our health insurance company sent us these gloom and doom letters that Dear Hubby and I HAD to go online and fill out a health assessment NOW or OUR INSURANCE WOULD BE CANCELLED!!! They were SERIOUS! So, I went online Wednesday. Their system was down for maintenance.

Tried again yesterday. I swear I could n…