September 6, 2017
by Sr. Candice Tucci, O.S.F.
Creighton University's College of Nursing
click here for photo and information about the writer

Wednesday of the Twenty-second Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 433

Colossians 1:1-8
Psalm 52:10, 11
Luke 4:38-44

Praying Ordinary Time

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I trust in the mercy of God for ever.

No doubt you have had an experience when you really needed the grace of God’s mercy to help you through a situation and discovered how present God was, then leading to a heart filled with gratitude.

“I will thank you always for what you have done
and proclaim the goodness of your name
before your faithful ones”

Recently I had a total knee replacement. It is routine surgery these days but a rather aggressive surgery and no real guarantee of the outcome like any surgery. One hopes all will go well. Mine did and I certainly am grateful for that! The hard work of physical therapy and walking again with my new knee with all the side effect of medications followed immediately! Two months off from work to heal, be still, reflect and pray!

For those two months I had a lot of time for prayer and reflection with spiritual companions.  One such person was St. Ignatius of Loyola. He was there with me as we talked about his leg shattered with a cannonball and how he survived it all! I could not imagine the pain and process he went through in the 16th Century. I am very grateful for this time in history where we have advanced so much in surgical procedures… but not available for all!

I remembered a lame beggar I met in Tanzania. He was an elderly man with deformed legs, pulling himself along that red earth with a big stick. No crutches or wheel chairs available there in the African bush. This was a scene right out of the Gospels, so I thought, and prayed: Jesus, please help this man. Blessed are the poor….

Laying on the couch and gazing at my San Damiano Crucifix (Replica of the cross that spoke to St. Francis of Assisi), I spoke with Jesus who cured the lame, sick and dying. Today our scripture tells us he is with St. Peter’s mother-in law. I gazed at him, Jesus, there on the cross whose legs were broken. But for this crucifix, Jesus is alive with eyes wide open and arms outstretched to embrace me…to embrace the world. I prayed, Anima Christi. This prayer of St. Ignatius was one of solace especially when I felt most vulnerable. A time I needed to depend on others and God’s gracious mercy. Surrender and let go!

Soul of Christ, sanctify me.
Body of Christ, save me.
Blood of Christ, inebriate me.
Water from the side of Christ, wash me.
Passion of Christ, strengthen me.
O Good Jesus, hear me.
Within your wounds hide me.
Permit me not to be separated from you…

Francis of Assisi desired and experienced being united with the suffering Christ, so this was for me. I trust in the mercy of God for ever!

Christ was with me and embraced me with every person who was part of this chapter of my life.
He was there in the medical staff, Sisters, friends and colleagues who visited/called/wrote and stayed with me, fed me, drove me to PT/doctor appointments, and the person who brought me the Eucharist. Each person I was graced with is the presence of the Body of Christ—the living Christ!  The holy ones as St. Paul points out, who live the faith! These were sacramental moments of God with me.

Perhaps there is a time in your life to reflect about the healing power of Christ with gratitude. Where have you experience that presence of Jesus--His healing presence? Where did you find your strength? Mercy?

Grace and Peace be yours….

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