Thursday, June 30, 2005

Patient, persistent love

This young man has been bed-ridden for twenty years. He can move his arms but his feet and legs lack the physical strength to support him. He cannot walk. He can only make gurgling sounds, not clear, distinct words.

The two Apostles of Divine Mercy asked me to drop by his home after administering the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick to an 83 year old woman. He was propped up on a chair, supported by big pillows.

We prayed together. The mother and father were there. And so was the brother. We prayed for God's mercy.

I prayed for the family. Lord, create in them a persistent, patient love for one another, and especially for their son.

There never was a tinge of regret; nor an ounce of bitterness in the family.

The mother told me: "I thank God for giving him to us. Caring for him provides us with endless opportunities to love him..."

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Please, let the Doctor see you..."

She died three weeks after I heard her confession, and administered to her the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick. At that time, she looked fine and strong, if not for her swollen right foot. Her foot also had a big, open wound.

She was sitting on her bed as I heard her confession. After the viaticum, and the prayers, I asked her sister what caused the wound. "I think it was a bite of an ant", she said.

"Hmmm.."I responded. Not really believing what caused the foot to swell. "Then she scratched it so hard, until there was this little wound", she continued.

Infection. I thought.

Before I left, I told her, "Please, go to a doctor, and let the Doctor see you. Your foot is getting infected. Nasamalan kayo la! "

"You might be diabetic", I added.

Three weeks later, I celebrated the Funeral Mass for her.

She did not go to the doctor.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Bro. Eddie!

Going to the different barangays has become a lot easier with less difficulties since the Parish acquired a jeep. A red WWII jeep with a Toyota 4K engine. Powerful. Economical. It could get out of the deep, heavy road-mud anytime!

Since the jeep is all roof, eveybody can see who is in it. Usually I am with one or two "sacristans".

I usually drive the jeep in going to the barrios. Or barangays. When people see the red jeep, they know it is "Father". Old folks would wave at me. The children would do the same, and much more. They would shout, "Father! Father!"

Or after I waved at them with my left hand, while holding the wheel with my right, these children would shout, "Si Father man!" (That's 'Father').

I was made to believe so many knew me. So many recognized the red jeep that 'Father' drove to the barrios. It made me feel good! And very important!

The other day, I was at my usual waving mode! I passed by these children playing by the road. They waved back, and expecting to hear from them the usual, "Si Father man!", I overheard instead a most unusual 'recognition' from a child in that group. I heard instead, "Brother Eddie! Brother Eddie!"

(Brother Eddie was a presidential candidate who lost in the last elections. He is at present a Born Again TV evangelist).

So much for my bloated ego!