Living in the Two Hearts

My Spiritual Insights and Musings

Posts Tagged ‘Mass’

How would you react if…

Posted by Anne Elizabeth on September 27, 2018

So… you had a particularly painful bout with food poisoning.

Your best friend had the nerve to call you in the middle of it (love ya, Carol!)

She begs you to just “bight the bullet” and go to the emergency room because, “They have to treat you!”

You agree, but won’t go until the following day…

On that day, you’re ready to walk out the door when the Lord God whispers to your heart, “Pray.”

But, shouldn’t I head to the ER to fulfill my promise to my friend?

Again He whispers, but a with a bit more insistence, “Pray!”

Yeah, but I need to take care of these hemorrhoids. I mean, they’re really becoming a problem.

Now with all power and might He booms, “PRAY!”

Yes, I am thick headed sometimes, and quite stubborn most of the time, but I’m not stupid. So naturally I changed my plans and went to my room to do what He asked of me, pray.

Before I even began a Divine Mercy Chaplet, I saw clearly in my mind’s eye that by delaying until the next day – Thursday, that everyone I would need would be in the ER to assist me.

THE NEXT DAY IN THE ER

The doctor serving his time is a radiologist. He asks my complaint, I tell him and ask if there is a way to get rid of these hemorrhoids cause they’re really causing a lot of problems. He finally does a rectal exam and says,

“I don’t like the feel of that.”

Next thing I know, I’m being fitted up with an IV starter – the nurse was really good! I hardly felt anything beyond a slight pinch.

A wheel chair appears at my door and she, the CAT scan specialist, wraps me up in wonderfully warm blankets and wheels me a short distance to their room with the scanner. They’ve come a long way since the original scan equipment. Now everything is open with just a section of scanner that leaves plenty of space between it and the patient.

After asking a series of questions, she has me lie down on the movable piece and we begin the initial scan. Next follows the routine injections, first saline – lovely taste; but then next the dye that they use to see inside the organs; I was told it would make me feel suddenly warm, and IT DID! But then as a quick afterthought she said,

“And you’ll think you’ve wet your pants. You didn’t.”

Sure enough, as she was saying it, that’s exactly what I felt.

When the scan finished, she brought me back to my private room in the ER – they’ve come a long way with ER set-ups as well, at least this hospital has. It didn’t even smell like a hospital! The room had a sliding glass door and a curtain for sound proof and privacy. A far cry from the last time I was in an ER many, many years ago.

A half hour later, the doctor came in and said I would need a surgeon. He then rattled off names and I looked at him like, huh?

“Listen,” I said,  “I have no idea about any of them, you just use your good judgment. All I ask is that he be a God-fearing man. A man of faith.”

So one was chosen that fit my request. Turned out he was also the best colon surgeon in the area!

Then ten minutes later, the nurse walks in with a booklet and a room number written on it informing me that I was being admitted into the hospital…

Come again?!

WAIT A MINUTE! HOLD THE PHONE! ADMITTANCE?! WHAT ARE WE TALKING ABOUT HERE?

She seemed confused, and left to have the doctor come in and explain all this. And I’m thinking, “Well, yeah! The doctor didn’t say anything about admittance. What’s going on here?” Turned out he wasn’t really big on confrontations, and so he began with…

“This is a common reaction. We see this all the time.”

“Excuse me, you see what all the time? the nurse has just informed me I’m being admitted into the hospital, but I have no idea why. You haven’t told me anything.”

(I did learn rather early on that communication within a hospital is seriously lacking. Something that hasn’t changed since the last time I was in a hospital environment.)

Now comes the moment of truth…

“Well it’s normal for people with cancer to react this way when…”

“Hold the phone! Did you just say cancer?!”

REALITY CHECK!

Turned out that what I thought were just hemorrhoids was actually a cancer mass growing on the outside of my colon. Then he said it was stage 3, because the CAT scan showed lesions on my liver, suggesting that the cancer had indeed spread. I finally got to see that scan, and what he said was true.

All in one fell swoop I was told that I had colon cancer and it had already spread to my liver. I was admitted and a colonoscopy happened the next day with a biopsy of the mass. Plus all of this occurred without any idea how I would pay for the whole thing!

Turned out the hospital system that exists out here is “not for profit”, and my working poor status qualified me for their free health care.

The procedure was unbelievable. The whole thing was done in 20 minutes and I was aware of none of it. All my support staff were totally wonderful and the surgeon a truly caring man. He visited me not just before the procedure, but a couple of times after just to check on how I was doing. I ended up leaving the day after, because they wouldn’t let me drive home that afternoon, even though I was cleared to go home.

All in all, it was a pleasant experience, though it did take a REALLY LONG TIME to get me out of the hospital even though I was clear to go the day before. And once you cease to be a “patient” the staff kind of forget’s about you. Now all I had to do was face the reality of cancer. What type of colon cancer would be determined by the results of the biopsy. 

Please Note: All this took place on August 23rd-25th

Clearly there is more to the story, that this section is just the beginning. Therefore, to be continued...

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This IS Holy Week!…

Posted by Anne Elizabeth on March 25, 2017

    Do not make My Father’s House a den of thieves!

First Published 4/1/2012

Updated 3/25.2018 – Psalm Sunday and Holy Week

OFFICE OF READINGS: Non Biblical Reading, p 1989

It Was Necessary That Christ Should Suffer and So Enter Into His Glory:
St. Anastasius of Antioch – A Discourse
(excerpt, emphasis added, with commentary)

Christ, who has shown by His words AND actions [see James 2: 17-18] that He was truly God and Lord of the universe, said to His disciples as He was about to go up to Jerusalem: We are going up to Jerusalem now, and the Son of Man will be handed over to the Gentiles and the chief priests and scribes to be scourged and mocked and crucified.

Those words bore out the predictions of the prophets, who had foretold the death He was to die in Jerusalem.  From the beginning Holy Scripture had foretold Christ’s death [see Ps 22: 1, 16-18; 69:21; 34:20;] , the sufferings that would proceed it [see Jer 11:19; Zech 12: 10-11a; Is 53: 3-9;], and what would happen to His body afterward.  Scripture also affirmed that these things were going to happen to One who was immortal and incapable of suffering because HE WAS GOD.

Only by reflecting upon the meaning of the incarnation can we see how it is possible to say with perfect truth both that CHRIST SUFFERED and that He was incapable of suffering, and why the WORD of God, in Himself incapable of suffering, CAME TO SUFFER.

In fact, man could not have been saved in ANY OTHER WAY, as Christ alone KNEW. No wonder His Apostles found it hard to accept  (see Mt 16:21; 20: 17-19; Mk 8:31; 9:31; Lk 9:21, 44 – just to name a few).

Around my heart, O Lord, Your fingers entwine...

Around my heart, O Lord, Your fingers entwine…

O God of mine, the singing birds are calling,
their song of love, a song for lovers true.
It’s autumn time and where the leaves are falling,
it’s there I wait to beg a WORD with You.

Tis of Your LOVE, Your LOVE I would be pleading,
around my heart, Your fingers You entwine.
The Saints above all know how much I’m needing
a little WORD to bid me HOPE, O God of mine!

~Fr Clifford Stevens, Lenten Homily, Tuesday 5th Week of Lent.

Hope springs eternal…

This is Holy Week!!! …a week that IS truly ABOUT HOPE.  On one hand we have the Apostles all hoping that Jesus will establish His Kingdom, they will have their places in that kingdom, and the Romans will be driven out of their land.  On the other hand…

We see another kind of hope, from the Religious Leaders of Jesus’ time.  They saw the signs and wonders Jesus had done and continued to do. 

They remember the word’s of John the Baptist…

But when [John] saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?…” ~Mt 3:7

…who said he was not the Christ (cf Jn 1:20).

Pompeys Campaign against Jerusalem.

PLUS they most likely remember the destruction of Jerusalem under Pompey “60 years before the birth of Jesus”…

“There was slaughter everywhere.  For some of the Jews were slain by the Romans and others by their own compatriots.  There were some who hurled themselves down the massive walls, and setting fire to their houses, burned themselves in them, for they could not bear to accept their fate.  Thousands perished in the assault of the city.” ~Account by Jewish Historian, Josephus, Fr. Clifford Stevens, Homilies, Saturday of the 5th Week of Lent.

Their bizarre hope? As they gathered in council after the raising of Lazarus, FOUR DAYS DEAD in the tomb, they said,…

“What are we to do?  For this man performs many signs.  If we let Him go on thus, everyone will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and destroy both our holy place and our nation!” ~Jn 11: 47b-48

HUMILITY

But Caiaphas, who was the high priest for that year, responded with…

“You know nothing at all;  you do not understand that it is expedient for you that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation should not perish.” ~Jn 11: 49b-50

Their hope?  That they can convince the Roman Governor – Pontius Pilate – to condemn Jesus to death.  See John 19:29-31.

Oddly enough, they (the apostles and the Jewish leaders) had it right, just not exactly right.  Jesus will establish His Heavenly Kingdom…

“Amen, amen I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.” ~Mt 23:43

And He will die to redeem the Nation of Israel, BUT He will do this to redeem ALL MANKIND…

“At the appointed time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for us godless men…It is precisely in this that God proves His love for us: that while were were still sinners, Christ died for us…For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to Him by the death of His Son, it is all the more certain that we who have been reconciled will be saved by His life.” ~Romans 5: 6, 8, 10, Evening Prayer, Monday of Holy Week.

What is the BIG PICTURE?

So it is with us, yes?  We see just a small part of the BIG PICTURE that only God  and the saints in Heaven see.  If we can only see a “small part” of this BIG PICTURE, what then should our focus be this week?

A GOOD QUESTION with a simple answer:  REDEMPTION through His SUFFERING.  The good news?  You are already equipped to do it! 

I am? How?

You have laid aside your struggles by calling out to Him who struggled BEFORE you and WITH you.  You have placed YOUR TRUST IN HIM, and are willing to TRUST IN HIM to help see you through whatever lies ahead of you.  So now you are ready to take the focus entirely from yourself and your own short comings (that’s what those 40 days were all about), and can now…

RE- FOCUS ENTIRELY on…

WHY:  YOU ARE FORGIVEN!

HOW:  YOU ARE FORGIVEN! …and

WHAT THIS ALL MEANS… 

After the glorious and ecstatic events of Psalm Sunday, the readings of the Mass rivet our minds on the coming Passion and Crucifixion of Jesus, the events that brought about the Salvation of the world.  These readings are carefully constructed mosaics of His sufferings, taken from the Prophets, the Psalms and the Gospels.  We are given to understand that WE are PART OF THE DRAMA of REDEMPTION and that is for US that He underwent these SUFFERINGS. ~Fr Clifford Stevens, Homily, Monday of Holy Week, emphasis added.

A Reading from the Prophet Isaiah…

On that note: The coming Messiah… A reading from the Prophet Isaiah

Behold my servant, whom I uphold, My chosen, in whom My soul delights; I have put My Spirit upon Him [Lk 4:16-21], He will bring forth justice to the nations [Rev 19:11].  He will not cry or lift up His voice, or make it heard in the street;  a bruised reed He will not break, and a dimly burning wick He will not quench [Mt 27: 27-31]; He will faithfully bring forth justice.  He will not fail or be discouraged till He has established justice in the earth [Rev 19: 13c-15]; and the coastlands wait for His law [Mt 28: 18-20].

The Faithful Servant…

Thus says God, the LORD, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread forth the earth and what comes from it, who gives breath to the people upon it and spirit to those who walk in it: “I am the LORD, I have called You in righteousness, I have taken You by the hand and kept You [Jn 7: 16-19]; I have given You as a covenant to the people [Mt 26:28], a light to the nations [Jn 8:12a], to open the eyes that are blind [Jn 9: 1-11], to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness [Jn 8:12b]. ~Isaiah 42: 1-7

This reading focuses on the PROMISE of who Jesus will be, and as the [ … ] indicate, there fulfillment.  I highly recommend that you read those passages for yourself as you read through the passage from Isaiah.

Who Jesus IS and soon WILL BE…

The Gospel according to St. John…

A reading from the Holy Gospel † According to John † : Praise to You, Lord Jesus Christ!

Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. There they made Him a supper; Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at table with Him.

 Mary took a pound of costly ointment of pure nard and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped His feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the ointment.  But Judas Iscariot, one of His disciples (he who was to betray Him), said…

“Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” This he said, not that he cared for the poor but because he was a thief, and as he had the money box he used to take what was put into it. Jesus said, “Let her alone, let her keep it for the day of My burial. The poor you always have with you, but you do not always have Me.”

When the great crowd of the Jews learned that He was there, they came, not only on account of Jesus but also to see Lazarus, whom He had raised from the dead.  So the chief priests planned to put Lazarus also to death, because on account of him many of the Jews were going away and believing in Jesus. ~Jn 12: 1-11

The preparation for Jesus’ burial.  An event that He has alluded to and many times directly told His disciples that it will happen: Mt 16:21; 17:23; 20: 17-19; Lk 17:25… just to name a few.  But as Fr Stevens reminds us…

...unless we understand the turmoil and uproar in the city of Jerusalem after the miracle of raising Lazarus from the dead, the whole climate of this Gospel will be missed.  Jesus suddenly left the city…the Temple Square itself closed to Him.  He went somewhere to be alone with His disciples…perhaps to open these passages from Isaiah to them, since none of them believed in the terrible things that would happen in the coming week…

We have no idea what His disciples thought when He spoke of His burial.  And even if they heard these words, the events of the next day, Palm Sunday, would convince them that those words could not possibly be true.  He is welcomed as the new King of Israel…but in the background are plots and subplots to make sure that this Prophet from Nazareth will not be the fuse that erupts into a rebellion against the Romans.”  ~Fr Clifford Stevens, Homily, Monday of Holy Week.

Our Focus: The REDEMPTION given to us by the SUFFERING CHRIST…

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