Thursday, March 14, 2013

August 27, 2012: Light and Darkness on the Eve of Eternity

A cancer patient who came to the mission in 2008, but refused the free surgical assistance offered to her by Dr. Dickes, was fast losing her strength and feared that she was dying.  For days, she could not tolerate food anymore.  She was extremely weak and had difficulty of breathing.  She wished to have intravenous fluids to keep her alive and sent a plea to the office to send her a nurse to start an intravenous line. We instructed the messenger to bring her to the hospital instead.
     When she was admitted to the hospital, youth volunteers visited her to assist her in her last agony.  When they had finished one rosary with her, a family member brought in a guest.  This guest removed the rosary from her hands.  And proceeded to breathe into her body while murmuring some incantations.  Then demanded that the prayer group be sent out of the room.  He was a sorcerer-witch brought in to magically restore the health of the patient. All antibiotics were ordered stopped by this magician.  And the desperate family complied.  And, as instructed by the magician, the family demanded that the prayer group keep away and respect their "privacy".
     But the patient was a Catholic.  And she had been regularly going to Confession, preparing herself for her end.  It was difficult to face a locked hospital door when a patient lay inside, unable to assert her will, forced to accept the ministrations of a sorcerer.  How could we abandon a Catholic patient into the hands of a sorcerer in her dying moment?  
     Prayer requests were sent to friends and benefactors of the mission for the patient's intention. Then we beseeched a poor relative of the patient to come and assist her in her deathbed.  We paid for her fare for the long trip and gave her food allowance so that she may stay beside the patient to give her spiritual support and to help the immediate family to understand the grave sin they were committing against the First Commandment.  The poor relative did her best but in her sincerest service she was unappreciated by the superstitious and was also unceremoniously sent away.
       More prayers before the Blessed Sacrament were offered for the patient. Then the youth group once again mustered courage to visit the patient in the hospital.  They brought a basket full of fruits for the family member that kept watch at the door.  The fruits worked like magic and opened the door to them.  While with the patient, one brave youth instructed her to write or cause to write her last will and testament, specifically, regarding her funeral.  She was to make sure that her decision regarding her funeral Mass would be known and honored by her whole family.  She agreed and immediately did as instructed.
     As her breathing grew more labored, her family called for the youth group to come and pray with their mother.  The youth group also invited the adult group from the chapel to form their own team to continue the bedside prayers when the youth group would leave.  In the afternoon she breathed her last.  Without any sorcerer in sight.  She was able to receive Extreme Unction before she died and she did have a Catholic funeral.  May she rest in peace.  Amen! 


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