My father was a veteran of World War II and I am a cancer survivor. We both reached the same conclusion in a conversation several years ago. While we would never choose to relive our experiences, neither would we trade them away. We both believed that the transformations in each of us could not have happened any other way.
Perhaps that is why veterans gather for parades and other events and why cancer survivors find so much encouragement, hope and even joy from being together. Not only have we shared similar life-threatening challenges, but we are also to each other what Philomena was to St Paul; so much refreshment to our deepest hearts and selves.
“I have experienced much joy and encouragement from your love,
because the hearts of the holy ones
have been refreshed by you, brother”. (Philomena 7)
Should it really take cancer or war or terrorism to have us love one another, to offer each other consolation and encouragement? Do we need to wait for something huge to befall us before we see that we are meant to be each other’s refreshment through our love and compassion for one another? My father and I don’t think so.
Fr James Krings
©2010 Creative Communications
Unfortunately, we often look at people through one-way screens, imagining that everything nasty only happens to others!
Lord Jesus, emblazon our hearts with an attitude of love that will steer us to the doors of your Kingdom.