Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Entwined in love


The Lourdes Novena in our Priory, Tallaght, was conducted by the Parish Priest, Fr.Dermot Brennan, OP. Fr. Dermot has given many splendid years of his ministry to the care of the sick and the dying, and this was vividly illustrated by the many moving stories he told during the Novena. One of these I wish to recount, though if you want to hear more, you may just have to look out for the next time he is conducting the Novena. See him at work, in front of his computer

The story as I recall it runs: ( for reasons of privacy, I am changing the names and other details)

John was in the Hospice badly deformed and in continual pain. It was not easy to look at him or speak to him. However, there was this lady, Margaret, who had been his teacher and trainer in the Hospice, and she made it her business to visit him every day. She would just make eye contact and speak gently and hope that he could understand.

Very often, all that would happen is that she would stretch out her hand on the bed towards the patient. She would spend long hours with him-- just being there. "But one day." said Fr.Dermot, "I slipped in and notice that their two hands and arms were entwined, which indeed seemed an almost impossible situation, as John's arm was twisted and deformed.

Something deep within me, made me think-- these two are in love!" And so things turned out to be, though no one else had noticed.

The staff and the family were brought together and all wondered at the marvel of human love and devotion that had developed in that Hospice room. When the death notice appeared in the papers, the obituary mentioned Margaret and referred to her as John's fiance.

As the preacher and gifted story-teller was coming to last lines of his tale, I can't deny that I had to wipe a tear away.

Love, human and divine is a blessing. But as Fr.Dermot himself added, "and how easily we might have missed the wonder of it all. Watch out today and in your own situation for the hidden glory that may be be around and beside you."

1 comment:

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