Saturday, March 30, 2013
The Time Has Come
As I spent Holy Thursday night in adoration, I thought back on the movie The Passion. I recalled the scene where a young Jesus falls and cries, and his mother Mary rushes to him: “I’m here, Jesus. I’m here.” And then the movie scene switches to Jesus falling with his cross, and his mother rushes to his side again, and tenderly says: “I’m here, Jesus. I’m here.”
That’s how I felt about my presence in that small chapel on Holy Thursday night, the night when He suffered alone. At least on this Holy Thursday night he would not be alone. “I’m here,” I said. “I’m here, Jesus.”
On that first Holy Thursday night, Jesus must have pondered in silence as he was crowned and mocked: “The time has come.” What MUST happen was about to happen, and he assented to it.
Thy will be done, Father. Thy will be done.
While in the chapel I meditated on the rosary, prayed my night prayers, and read the passion accounts in the Gospels. And I read a recently released book, Volume Five of the apostolate: Direction for Our Times, words given to Anne, a lay apostle, from Jesus and the saints. There are a number of books published by this apostolate, with the concurrence of this woman’s local bishop --- although, of course, the Church won’t comment on the likely truth of this woman’s words until all has stopped, many years from now. But for now, all of the previously published books were deemed consistent with the teachings of the Catholic Church, as is this one, but this one is different: it speaks to a chastisement for the world.
Now I’ve read many words of visions or apparitions where God or Mary has warned people about chastisements coming for the world. And many have a certain immanence to them --- it will happen soon. The words referenced in this book were identified as spoken to Anne in 2004; the reason for the delay in releasing them was not given. I’m sure many will read the words in the book and become disturbed, but the words themselves note that “there is nothing new in your world, and these struggles you contend with have been contended with in the past,” and “your time is a time of upheaval, as was my time. A new, renewed Church will emerge on the other side of this travail.”
The words appeared to be saying: The time has come.
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I went home after the long night and slept for a few hours, before the phone awoke me. “We’re calling about delivering this bedside table today, since (your mom) is permanently bed-bound.” I awoke with a start: “What did you say?” And the message was repeated. “Well, that’s news to me,” I said, “And I’m her son. Who told you this?” He responded that a hospice nurse had called, and so I immediately placed a call to the hospice organization. Sr Mary returned my call: “Yes, I ordered that table, but I only said this was a permanent condition so they’d rush the delivery; she needs this now to be able to eat in bed more easily. The doctor visited you mom this morning with me, and he ordered her to bed, with no getting up --- for now. Until her persistent wounds heal.”
After I rushed over to mom’s house, I found out more. While some of her bedsores were healing (Thank you, St. Joseph), she had more wounds appearing on her legs, and bruising on her bottom from moving her with the Hoyer Lift device and even, the doctor said, from just sitting on the potty. “Her skin is very thin and easily breaking down from any pressure. She must remain in bed on the special mattress, for now.” Sr. Mary told me that the doctor was surprised at my mom’s tenacity to now, but worried about these new skin outbreaks. (Mom turns 95 in a few weeks.) After we talked a while about what the new restrictions mean and how I and the caregiver will have to care for her, we talked some about new arrangements to be made. I went out and bought a television and VCR/DVD for the bedroom, so mom could watch tapes of her favorite game shows and the animal and cowboy movies, and cartoons, we have stacked --- for now. Maybe later I’ll get cable re-wired for the house so it can be in the bedroom. I told Sr. Mary, the nurse, I was going to do these things, pending the healing outcomes and timing. Then she said: “I have to tell you one other thing the doctor said. As he was leaving I said to him ‘I’ll see you next time in a couple of months.’ But he replied: ‘Maybe. If she continues on her present path, though, I don’t think so.’”
After Sr Mary said this, I turned and went over to mom’s bedside. She looked worried at all the attention she was getting, and the strangers in her room. And with her deafness, she couldn’t hear me as I bent over and kissed her and said: “Don’t worry, mom. I’m here. I’m here, mom.”
Perhaps, the time has come.
It’s hard hearing words you don’t want to hear, and it seems that even if others are in the room, you feel alone when they’re spoken. Jesus heard them from His Father. Perhaps the seer Anne heard them from Jesus and the saints. And I heard them from Sr. Mary.
The time has come.
I’ve written here previously and meditated upon the changing phases of our life. They happen to all of us. No one’s life is smooth sailing always. There are always storms, and even shipwrecks. And sometimes we need to change course. Whether we think things are going very good, or going very badly, we can be assured of only one thing: they will change. Just living means we are changing. And the final change, the final phase, is death.
I liked that book by Anne, and the words of Jesus and the saints. And whether “The End” or a chastisement, or merely “dark times” are coming, the words stated the positive: “This is good. This is necessary. I am with you.”
“Do not be anxious.”
Those words can be applied to all the changes in our life. But we so easily forget them. I guess it’s a good thing that I write this blog under the title of “Do Not Be Anxious,” to remind you, and myself, that there is nothing to worry about. He is with us. This is good. Out of all things, even the bad, even the sad, He makes good.
We need to remember that as we think about our lives, and Good Friday, and the crosses. And remember His Easter --- and ours, and that of all our loved ones.
I came that you might have new life.
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“Life has lots of sorrows, lots of Via Dolorosas, and if you live long enough, several trips to Calvary. But it has only one Easter. Let’s get ready.” --- The King Crucified and Risen, by Fr. Benedict Groeschel