The terminally ill, the disabled and the priest-physician before a “sister” dreaded: that death to which cries, "O death, where is thy victory?»

— pastorale sanitaria —

SICK TERMINALS, WITH DISABILITIES AND THE PRIEST-DOCTOR BEFORE AN "SISTER" MUCH FEARED: DEATH THAT WHICH IS CRYING "O DEATH WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY?»

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It is something serious and deeply flawed, When the families of seriously ill or dying avoid calling the priest, claiming that ... "otherwise, seeing the priest scares!». But how can scare, Those whom the seriously ill or dying brings great medicine of God's grace? The truth is that being scared is not seriously ill or dying, but her family who download over him their fears. Perhaps because they have never seen people die in peace with God, nor have they seen the good that gives the seriously ill or dying this grace, this latest medicine that only the blind and wicked men may be denied to those to whom, against the other, say they want well.

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Author:
Gabriele Giordano M. Scardocci, o.p.

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representation of St. Francis of Assisi and Sister Death

In a country like Italy, where for four decades births are lower than deaths, We Fathers de The island of Patmos we can not, as theologians and pastors in charge of souls, omit to give prominence to the phenomenon of aging and physical disability, then the delicate ambit of terminally ill. Let's start from the Gospel of St. John the Apostle where we read:

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"In truth, I tell you: whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me, It has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but it is passed from death to life " [GV 5, 24].

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We all know the beautiful Canticle of the Creatures St. Francis of Assisi. The simple beauty of this declaration of love for creation still resonates after more than eight centuries. And yet, There is a passage that seems little shining, indeed some Catholics find it disturbing. Let us try to remember those verses, where at one point the Saint of Assisi writes:

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«praised’ I’ Lord for our sister bodily death, from whom no homo living can escape».

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St. Francis thanked God for the death of the body. Which in itself may seem paradoxical, absurd and almost meaningless. Of all creation, because without thanking the body death? To understand this "sonnet" we must remember that by faith we believe that death is a consequence of original sin. As written by the medieval theologian St. Julian of Toledo, taking in turn San Gregorio Magno:

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"Man established in Paradise received a precept, so was in its nature the power to not die, and the power of death: if it was found obedient to the fulfillment of the vital precept, It would become immortal; if it was found disobedient for his iniquity he would begin to be deadly […]» [Prognostic Forever, The Book, III].

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So this is one of the main themes of our faith. And now, immersed in Lent, We travel together for forty days until the time of death of the body of Jesus as a passage to the resurrection and eternal life. Jesus faced, in its human nature, the event of death and defeated, being the first of the resurrected: in tal modo, It allows us, one day, resurrected him.

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When we get closer to the priests seriously ill, who morenti, Our task is not to give them "the last illusion ', how they think at times some doctors, but give them the medicine that can save their souls forever, for eternity. The priesthood, under certain aspects, It can be considered as the last extreme degree of medicine: the one and only medicine that can save souls. In these cases the priest-doctor, far from illusory manner in comfort, It will give the seriously ill and dying person the certainty of faith that death is a moment of transition. For this, along with St. Francis, we can say that this "formidable Lady ', as they called the wise medieval, is our sister.

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Death is a passing event that sooner or later we all have to go, because it is a reality which no human being can escape. At the same time, but, precisely because the death was not an event willed by God or contemplated perfect natural order created by Him, just the thought of it gives us a certain sadness, because death is something “unnatural”, when read in the light of creation. And this is precisely because death is not the work of God, but a consequence of human sin, who is the true creator of death. At the same time, the death, He instills in us a certain fear. Because then we do not know what will be our destination, or because we fear our destination. In the seriously ill and dying, this understandable fear fades, or disappear completely, when with certainty of faith receives from the priest-doctor the great medicine of God's grace.

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Many doctors and specialists engaged in therapies of pain and in the treatment of terminally ill patients, saw patients until prostrate before regaining serenity and fearful, after being treated by the priest-doctor, many doctors and paramedics, between them even nonbelievers, often they are the first to tell the family that perhaps their loved one would need the comfort of a priest.

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With such sensitivity and contemplative spirit, after trying to grasp the great mystery of death, then simply try to pray, to get in tune with this big sister, at the same time feared and almost deliberately forgotten, thinking that with it will be our Passover, our passage to eternal life. Down the existence tunnel there is the absolute vacuum, but the springboard of the "final jump" in the eternal infinite God. After the jump, It is the definitive time. We can then, with Jesus, make our own the verses of the writer and English poet John Donne

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"Death will be no more death. E tu, death morrai ».

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It is something serious and deeply flawed, When the families of seriously ill or dying avoid calling the priest, claiming that ... "otherwise, seeing the priest scares!». But how can scare, Those whom the seriously ill or dying brings great medicine of God's grace? The truth is that being scared is not seriously ill or dying, but her family who download over him their fears. Perhaps because they have never seen people die in peace with God, nor have they seen the good that gives the seriously ill or dying this grace, this latest medicine that only the blind and wicked men may be denied to those to whom, against the other, say they want well. A tal punto bene da pensare che, the ultimate comfort in the grace of God that heals the wounds of the soul, may even scare.

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Rome, 4 March 2020

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One thought on "The terminally ill, the disabled and the priest-physician before a “sister” dreaded: that death to which cries, "O death, where is thy victory?»

  1. Assolutamente vero e consolante. Peccato che siano così pochi i sacerdoti che parlano chiaro e con fede autentica come in questo articolo. Peccato che ci sia troppo sale insipido il quale non fa che blaterare di miserie terrene, sale insipido che non parla mai di eternità, sale insipido il quale insiste che il diavolo non c’è, che gli unici problemi dell’umanità sono l’inquinamento, l’accoglienza degli islamici come cari fratelli, e la necessità di tutelare i preziosissimi peccatori contro natura (tanto sarebbe Dio a farli così). Comunque andiamo avanti perché porta inferi non praevalebunt.

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