BK's Cancer Corner: A vocation to prayer
In the past half year I've been in touch with many people who have helped me cope with my lack of ability to do much other than lie in bed or sit on a chair. In going through old e-mails, I came across this one from the famous Na Zdrowie! poster, luke bruner. It was a great thought. When life gives you nothing but sour tasting lemons, you have to learn how to make lemonade! Here is his email which I'm sure he won't mind me sharing:
After sending the last letter I couldn't help but be reminded of a story I heard in St. Louis. Fr. John Kavanaugh S.J. (the most brilliant homilist I've ever heard), told a moving story about Old Jesuits.
In the Jesuit Order, the yearly directory lists every Jesuit, their location, and their assigned ministry. Those who were too old or ill to undertake other ministries were listed as "Praying for the Society and the Church." He then went on to talk about the desire of one's heart, and how many people desire to spend a great deal more time in prayer than they ever get around to doing. God often has other plans for them and they are called to serve the Church through specific forms of work.
What a joy, he suggested, that in times of sickness (or of old age) that a "contemplative in action" receive the assignment from a superior to spend all his time in prayer for the Society and the Church. He then went on to explain how, through the vow of obedience, a religious would (ideally!!!) regard assignments and orders from superiors as coming from the very mouth of Christ himself. After many years of work, what an incredible gift from God, to be assigned to do what one's heart most desires.
Though such an assignment may involve some physical sufferings (chemo, surgery, etc), they are really quite small compared to the joy of undertaking the heart's desire in ernest.