Can you be a wimp and a saint?


Hubby and I spent about 6 hours in the car yesterday to go see the neurosurgeon at the university hospital about this (non-cancerous) spinal tumor I have.

The appointment basically consisted of him telling us that, in the last 3 months, the tumor has not grown, and beyond that, he doesn't have a clue. He's sending me to another specialist.

The last week has been especially painful. I not only hurt, but it makes it difficult to make plans, because I simply don't know how I'm going to feel from day to day.

It seems as if all the stories of the saints and martyrs tell us that they are all very stoic and brave in the face of pain and death. Now, I know that can't be true. At least one or two of them must have been a LITTLE whiny or scared or bossy or short-tempered. I just can't seem to find any of those stories to bolster my own weakness.

For instance, I just learned that St. Gemma Galgani (who I confess I knew very little about) is the patron saint of those who suffer from back pain. (Actually, most of the websites say she is the patron of back pain, but I'm pretty sure pain doesn't get a patron saint.) One website told this about her:

And while Don Andrew Bartoloni was answering Gemma's questions, on his side he received, in compensation, great edification. He tells us this himself:
‘Through her illness she was, as it were, rigid. She could raise only her head and shoulders a little. She used to say to me: " See, I am crucified; I cannot move." But nevertheless she never uttered a word of complaint. She was always jovial, smiling and peaceful. It seemed to me that she had a most extraordinary resignation. She had her Rosary or a holy picture always in her hand or under her pillow. Even the family seemed peaceful, because Gemma was so calm. Sometimes when I was leaving the house, they said to me: "Isn't Gemma remarkably resigned?"

Oh. Dear. I have much work to do.

I'm sad and tired and worn out and grouchy. I want answers and I want to stop hurting. Yet, quite honestly, I don't know what God's will is for this entire situation. So I pray: "God, please heal me if that is your will. If it is not your will, then let me suffer well."

I'll keep you posted.

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