Sunday, April 28, 2013

It is for you... suffering, sacrifices, prayer

How many times have we ever heard these words:
"Suffering is personal. Sacrifice is for others.Prayer is for God." (St. Gertrude the Great)
Many times when we make major decisions we consider the possible pros and cons of the decision (at least I hope so). More often than not we see ourselves in the scenario... "what if I decide this way or what if I do this way?" I often think, do we also consider the impact of our decision to the people that may be affected by it? Especially if those are the people that mean a lot to us? Like if we are adult and single -- our parents; if we are married -- our wife or husband and children? Or even in friendship -- our friends who accompany us live life each day, after all friendship is a gift from God.

I was in Ohio for few weeks helping out in one long-term care facility that has decided to close down. A friend's relative has a son, a young 54 year old man who has MS and is a resident in this long-term care facility. The man's mother is an elderly living in one of the homes for the elderly run by a religious organization. To cut the story short, the 54 year old MS patient is among those over 100 residents that the state was relocating to other facilities. It actually was a sad event seeing so many sick young and elderly being moved out to an unknown places for care simply because the facility they are now could not afford the cost of operation because of the health care system's highly regulated cost reimbursement.

The man's mother was hoping to have her son live with her in her place. She desires to take care of him but she knows it is not possible. He needs more care than she can provide and she knows he is just waiting for his time.  He is terminal.

I went to visit the old lady in her apartment which was located not far from where her son lives. As soon as she opened her door it was the picture of her son on the wall welcomed me as well as this beautiful saying beside her son's photo. With her permission, I took a picture of it. " Parting is when someone you love leaves you with a new presence and you are forever together apart."

I thought of this words when I remember St. Gertrude's words "suffering is personal; sacrifice is for others; prayer is for God."

Isn't it true, there are decisions that are within our control but there are decisions that we are bound to accept, beyond our power yet we accept it for we believe that it is for a common good.

This mother is suffering deep within herself because of the love of a mother to her son yet she knows it is for her son's good to find a place where his needs can be taken cared for -- not with her in her apartment. Suffering is personal. She feels it, she suffers in silence of letting go of her son that way. Sacrifice is for others. She sacrifice not being close to him for his own good. She prays and abandons herself and her son to God. Hoping God will make things better for both of them. She lives hoping against hope that God will never abandon those who love him.

" It is for you...."  These words carry a lot of weight... 

It is for you, that I suffer quietly.
It is for you, that I sacrifice my desire to be with you.
It is for you, that I pray to God that in parting now we can be forever together apart and in heaven we
                       shall meet again where there is no more pain of separation.

I remember Jesus' words to his disciples "it is for your own good that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Paraclete will not come to you, but if I go, I will send Him to you." (John 16:7)

I  could hear Jesus says this to each of us:

 It is for you, that my Father sent me to the world
It is for you, that I embrace the Calvary and the Cross for it is my love that says this is the way to be with you one day in heaven
It is for you, that I endure the separation so that one day we can be together forever as I welcome 
         you  in heaven.

      "I can't wait" 

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