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Today is an International Day of Prayer – especially dedicated to those who are oppressed because of their faith. Those of us who live in a place of religious freedom might find it difficult to understand what it’s like to live in fear of reprisals because of faith, but there are many places in which darkness seeks to overcome light.
Today, and throughout the weeks and months ahead, lift up a special prayer for those who have faith, but who are fearful. That they may be strengthened and have courage knowing that we, around the world, are holding them in supportive, encouraging prayer.
Joy and peace,
Yesterday, I had a doctor’s appointment. The nurse who took me into the examination room did not wash her hands before moving to start my eye exam. The nurse who took me into another examination room immediately after a couple exited it did not sterilize the exam area before admitting me to it. The doctor who came in to examine me did not wash his hands before approaching me to begin his exam. Not – that is – until I asked them to.
One of the nurses seemed a bit put off by my request to take care because of my immuno-suppressed state. The nurse who sterilized the exam area, upon my request, did not speak at all while she did so. But my doctor noddeed approvingly and said, “Yes, very good idea. I don’t mind your asking at all. I completely understand,” as he cleaned his hand with sanitizing gel.
Often, we might feel as if we’re doing the wrong thing by advocating for ourselves. But if we don’t, who will? Healthcare workers today, however caring and well-trained, are busy beyond the hours in the day, and the demands on them for record-keeping, compliance, and other adminstrative concerns can overshadow simple acts of patient care and infection prevention.
Don’t feel you’re rude to ask a doctor to wash his or her hands. Don’t feel you’re being selfish to ask for another healthcare worker to help you if the one assigned to you has a cold or seems to have an infection. And don’t feel you’re “upsetting the apple cart” by asking for a sanitized exam area and fresh, clean gowns, instruments, and other items that will be used in your exam.
It’s all right to ask for as clean a healthcare environment as possible. After all, it is your right!
Joy and peace,
No doubt about it, as I’ve aged, things that were easy to do are getting harder to accomplish. Oh, I don’t mean “major” things like hearing I have yet another diagnosis. I mean less major, but no less important, things like bending down to put away a mixing bowl, or reaching for a fresh roll of paper towels.
When I was first diagnosed with lupus, I had to rearrange my kitche to accommodate the new restrictions on my movement, but it’s been awhile since I revisited the kitchen or other areas of my life, where some things, once easy to do, are now more challenging.
Today might seem like anti-TLC, but in the long run, it’ll be tremendously “caring” of you to do. Ask yourself, “What one thing could I do to make one difficult task easier?”
Could you swap the items on high or low shelves to make them easier to handle? Could you reschedule your exercise time so that you’re not doing it when your more tired (our energy levels seem to shift as we age, too – at least mine have).
Take a little time to make life easier on yourself. You deserve it!
Joy and peace!
You’ve probably read about many of the Saints and saints – those holy men and women who have been canonized in the Catholic Church, and those people who have lived exemplary lives of faith. All are inspirations for us – the things they accomplished against great persecution and odds!
But, have you read much in these saintly people’s own words? Would you know where to begin to find autobiographies, prayers, meditations, and other work in the Saints’ and saints’ own hands? No place like the Internet to find all this and more! From longer books (“The Confessions of Saint Augustine”) to messages given by Saints such as Pope Saint John Paul II (www.vatican.va), all it takes is a Google search and you’re on your way.
I’ve been tremendously inspired by the Saints and saints, but especially when I’ve read what they have written and said about the challenges that faced them in life, how (some of them) came to believe in Our Lord, and the sacrifices they made to follow the Way of the Cross.
November 1 is All Saints Day and November 2 is All Souls Day, a good time to reflect on the goodness and spiritual accomplishments of people who we consider to be Saints and saints. If you make an extra effort to read what they actually said, that good time will take on an even more profound meaning – and give you encouragement and inspiration for your journey.
Joy and peace,