Skip to main content

Anointing of the Sick and a mission I didn't ask for

At Mass, this past Sunday, we celebrated the Anointing of the Sick. I've never figured out why more people don't avail themselves of this sacrament, especially since it's one where the recipient really doesn't have to DO anything (other than pray and receive the grace - easy peasy!)

Anyway, "K," our pastoral associate, asked if I'd like to receive, and I said yes. (Actually, I nearly shouted "yes" but we were in church right before Mass started. I contained my enthusiasm.) She told me there were two other people, and she would seat them next to me in the front pew. One was a older lady bent over from osteoporosis, who told me she was nervous - "I've never done this." I tried to assure her that it was not only painless and easy, but quite helpful.

Father began his sermon  by announcing that we were celebrating this sacrament following the homily. Then he said that the sick - whether it was an illness of mind, body or spirit - were those whom God was asking a special mission of.

Wha??? Huh? I don't remember that. There was no cassette telling me of a mission "if you should choose to accept it." No voice from above saying, "You are sent forth" or any other obvious announcement. Nope, I just know that I'm in pain.

And the pain has been ghastly these past few days. I'm finding it hard to walk, I'm only sleeping a few hours a night and the pain reaches from the middle of my back to my toes. My mission remains unclear. I feel like one of the Jews wandering in the desert: "Where are we? Aren't we supposed to have come across the Promised Land by now? What's going on???"

It seems as if, in the realm of superheroes and paperback protagonists, that they don't often set out with a specific mission in mind. They know they cannot stand injustice or that someone needs to stand up for the Average Joe or Jill, but a specific case? No; they either stumble into one or wait until the Bat signal or its equivalent draws them out.

These past few days I've been wondering what mission God could possibly have in mind for me that required so much pain on my part. Frankly, a big chunk of me is saying, "Mission?? I do't need no stinkin' mission!!" I'm just trying to stay healthy, holy, and live out my vocation of being a wife, a mother, and employee.

Yet there I was, with my face uplifted and my hands held out, allowing the healing oil to be placed on my body, soothing my spirit. I truly don't know why God is asking this of me, but I'll trudge along, holding His hand and clinging to Mary's mantle. I've received this sacrament 3 times in the past 2 months, so God clearly has a mission for me.

Whatever it is, I'll just show up. I figure God will take care of the details of the mission.

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…

Secret Santa!!

Too old for Santa? I think not.

Yes, there are discussions as to whether we should "lie" to kids and tell them that Santa brings them gifts vs. We can't lie to the kids; it's wrong.

There is also the "Christmas is about Jesus" vs. "But Santa is magical!"

You know, we have so few magical and joyful moments, and less and less as we get older. Santa is fun. And the kids usually figure it out, and no one I know was ever scarred for life for believing that Santa brought them and every child everywhere a toy for Christmas.

It's the magic of looking up at the sky on a clear December night, thinking "I'll wait up to see Santa" and later, as you fell asleep at the window, being in your daddy's arms as he carries you to bed.

It's the magic of putting out cookies and milk (or beer, because Santa does like beer) and maybe some carrots for the reindeer, and then checking in the morning to make sure the food was all consumed.

It's…

Advent Brokenness

It was a lovely May evening, the kind we in Michigan savor like honey. After the brutal cold of winter, flowers blossomed, grass greened, mosquitoes flocked. School was almost done for the year - just the formalities of 8th grade graduation were ahead.

Why not saddle up the horse and go for a ride? Why not, indeed. So my sister and I did. I took Prince out across the road from our house, to romp through the weeds on a path my father mowed for us. The view from horseback on a spring night - well, nearly Heaven.

Until Prince bolted. He spooked. I fell. And my arm broke. Compound fracture.

My dog, a collie, had followed us out. He was not particularly trusting of Prince, as Prince would never allow himself to be herded, and this vexed my collie. My dog, channeling his inner Lassie, ran home without me.

My sister had been in the yard with her boyfriend at the time, Gary, waiting for me to come back. Instead, it was just the dog loping across the road. That didn't seem right, so my si…