In gratitude for release in my muscles and for release in my sorrow over my mother’s pancreatic cancer and death. In gratitude for green, meaning life, and growth and prosperity and peace and joy.
Those are the blessings I have received following the prayer of healing administered by Fr. Fontana at St. Charles in Oakes on Divine Mercy Sunday, 2008.
Further, I have a deep understanding of the role of suffering in our lives and the life of Christ. Part is due to the release in healing of the shock of my mother’s cancerous condition and part is in connection with the reading of the mass today, second Friday after Easter.
The apostles rejoiced and continued preaching Jesus as the Messiah after being flogged by the Sanhedrin. The time frame is so close to Jesus’ own flogging, and they were filled with the strength and joy of Pentecost by then; for them to see themselves as joining in the same sufferings as Jesus had endured in his love for us must have been what lead them in living out the same path as Jesus, the path of love, suffering love.
My release came about like this. I was back sitting in the pew with my friends I had come over to Oakes with on Divine Mercy Sunday. It was like a cloud presence of arms with the color green about it and the words “”would you have taken away the cross I chose to make my way to heaven in reparation for my sins?”” That would have been my mother. Friends had told me several years after her death that she (who with my dad had raised five children, three of whom were mentally retarded by PKU disease genetically) had hoped for a cross like cancer that she could have to prepare herself for heaven and repent of her sins.
A the same moment of release, I also knew it was Jesus’s own words for his passion and death (and the humble hardships of his life prior to that as well as the opposition, etc., during his public ministry).
The green is a recognition of Mom’s favorite living room color; a similar color I have had in my bedroom since two years ago. In other word’s one I would recognize with her. Also, after her death, I have always pictured sitting on a bench in the green of a beautiful garden.
I wished to share this with you, holy shepherd, and I am glad for your Pentecost bravery in living out our faith.