Sometimes I cry. Such as when I came across this story. A young husband had a crippling, terminal neurological disease. His wife was carrying a baby which this young man knew he will never see. So he wrote a letter to this unborn child. He wanted him or her to know what he had in his heart.
This is a selection of what he wrote. “Your mother is very special. Few men know what it is like to receive appreciation for taking their wives out to dinner when it entails what she does for me. She has to dress me, shave me, brush my teeth, comb my hair, wheel me out of the house and down the steps, open the garage and put me in the car, take the pedals off the chair, stand me up, sit me in the seat of the car, twist me around so that I am comfortable, fold the wheelchair, put it in the car, go around to the other side of the car, start it up, back it out, get out of the car, pull the garage door down, get back into the car, drive off to the restaurant.
And then, it starts all over again. She gets out of the car, unfolds the wheelchair, opens the door, spins me around, stands me up, seats me in the wheelchair, pushes the pedals out, closes and locks the car, wheels me into the restaurant, then takes the pedals off the wheelchair so I won’t be uncomfortable.
We sit down to have dinner, and she feeds me throughout the entire meal. And when it’s over she pays the bill, pushes the wheelchair out to the car again, and repeats the same routine. And when it’s finished, with real warmth, she’ll say, ‘Honey, thank you for taking me out to dinner.’ I never quite know what to answer. . .”
Neither would I know what to answer! I picked this testimony from a webpage called ‘Daily Devotions. A Few Moments With God’. It touched me deeply because the truth of the matter is that this is exactly what God does with us. We are all recipients of this kind of amazing self-giving love.
When I was speaking recently to the members of the RCIA of our parish in Canada, my whole emphasis was on the fact that Christianity is not about laws. You are not a Christian because you follow dutifully the Ten Commandments and the five precepts of the Church. Christianity is about a person. It is all a question of getting to know Him! As an old wise Franciscan once said, “Once you come to know the love of Jesus Christ, nothing else in the world will seem as beautiful or desirable.”
What is so disarming about the love of Jesus Christ? Very simple. He is so much keen on us that he did not mind polluting himself with out dirt and sickness in order to heal us.
Wladyslaw Misiuna was a teenager from Poland during the Second World War. But he was still a child at heart. He was recruited by the Germans to help the inmates at the concentration camp start a rabbit farm to supply furs for soldiers at the Russian front. He somehow felt responsible for the thirty young women he supervised and always brought secretly bread and milk and carrots and potatoes.
One day he realized that one of his workers, Deborah, had contracted a mysterious infection. He knew what that meant. If the Germans discovered the open lesions in her arm, they will kill her! He had to find some way to get medication for her. But he did not know how to do it. He took the simplest route. He infected himself with her blood and when the lesions appeared, he went to a doctor in town.
The doctor prescribed the right medication, which Wlasyslaw then shared with Deborah. Both were cured. Both survived the war.
What this Polish young man did, is what Jesus Christ constantly does with us! This is why many times I find myself repeating this prayer, “Christ, Don’t Let Me Stray Too Far Away From Calvary…. Jesus, Never Let Me Forget the Price You Paid for Me.”
(c) Fr. Pius Sammut, OCD. Permission is hereby granted for any non-commercial use, provided that the content is unaltered from its original state, if this copyright notice is included.