Friday, June 09, 2006

A Story of Two Priests


From Tom Roeser of On the Other Hand

We always hear of the priests who have problems, but we should not forget that God’s grace has brought us for more that follow Christ with all their heart mind and soul.

“George, the Lord Jesus Christ loves you,” he said in a voice that gave a kind of thrilling affirmation of the fact. “Moreover, all the suffering you are enduring now and have endured is being put up for you as a treasure for your eternal reward. And let there be no mistake: All of us must, one day, face the same trial you do today — and God grant that we will do so with the courage you are exhibiting today which is such an inspiration to us all. You are indeed a champion and we are proud of you and love you.”

It was not just the exquisite words but the tender solicitude of a loving father that Cardinal George displayed; the gentle stroking of the dying priest’s brow, the brushing back of his unkempt, disheveled hair (incredibly for this always preoccupied elderly priest who never primped and had to be reminded to go to a barber, not a gray strand among it), the prelate’s soft patting of the patient’s sagging, stubble-filled cheeks with the skill of a medical nurse — all done with such care that the medical personnel, standing around, waiting to react in case of emergency, were stunned.

This was a cardinal who knew how to soothe, who could easily become, with the delicacy and grace he showed, an expert caregiver himself.

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