Saturday, July 30, 2005

When Jesus Calls

When I went to Nashville, Lori and I got to know each other much better. She works in the health care industry, and she's great at what she does. We had this conversation about Terri Shiavo, and while I won't disclose what she said, I got a very different perspective about suffering from her.

Next, I became friends with Drs. Dan and Jane. They have a real passion for dealing with the dying poor, and from them I've learned about the vocation of suffering, and how to give compassion in the most dire of consequences.

In Denver I met Carla. She's an unmercenary healer. Carla is a very compassionate person. I got very ill in Denver, and she took care of me. She had a talk about healing ministries, and I asked her about something Ken and I argue about a lot.

Ken never wants to be in a position where he is completely unable to care for himself. Basically, he wants no heroic measures taken to save his life. No ventilator, no feeding tube. I always took issue with the feeding tube, but he was adamant, so I told him to write his wishes down, and that they would be honored because they were legally documented. He wants me to make the decision should I survive him documented or not. I told him I couldn't kill him.

I asked Carla about this after she taught, and she said that in most cases it is the survivor that has trouble letting go. Then she said something I haven't been able to stop thinking about. She said, "When Jesus bids me "come," I want to go the first time He calls."

One of my favorite prayers is the Anima Christi:
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 Thy wounds hide me.
Separated from Thee let me never be.
From the malignant enemy, defend me.
At the hour of death, call me.
And close to Thee bid me.
That with Thy saints I may be
Praising Thee, forever and ever. Amen
Isn't it lovely? At the hour of my death, call me. And close to Thee bid me. I think one translation I have says, "At the hour of death, bid me "come". Come closer. Come to Me.

I hope this isn't one of those weird premonitions. I know people write stuff like this before they die unexpectedly, and I did have a really bad asthma attack that made me wonder. We are always close to death. It hovers ever in the shadows, a blink away. One wrong turn on the freeway. One bad moment in the wrong place. One misfire of the heart, and we could find ourselves "Home".

So, all day my heart called to Him today, "Master, bid me "come". And all day I felt the Holy Spirit pull me toward the presence of God. I did not die, and don't know when I will (thank God!) but I want to go to Jesus. I want my heart to cry out to him, because I never want to be satisfied with not feeling His touch, hearing His voice, being His beloved. Of course, this prayer isn't just about physical death. It's about that strange paradox of dying so that you can live. It's about being soaked with the Holy Spirit,

I've changed so much. It wasn't long ago that I missed church so much that my soul ached. Now, I can't get enough of the Divine Liturgy. Jesus is there. I want to become nothing so that His soul will sanctify me. I want to to lay prostrate before Him with His body to save me, and I want to drink of His blood and find myself drunk with Love.

Have a taste of Him with me.
Mair, the raga


Heather Diane Tipton said...

..."I want to become nothing so that His soul will sanctify me. I want to to lay prostrate before Him with His body to save me, and I want to drink of His blood and find myself drunk with Love.
Have a taste of Him with me."

Oooooh amen!

Anonymous said...

Nice post! "For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain"...The Spirit and the Bride say "Come!" Come to where? The Living Water beyond death. Yes, call me! May I be bold enough to answer "Here am I, take me!"

Hope said...

I spent this past week sitting with a friend who was dying. Seeing her suffer was about more than I could handle. I thought I knew what suffering was.

Your posts always, always bless me. I need this one especially today. Thank you.

Kristine said...

Your posting made me think of my mother in law. She is a hospice nurse. She deals with death on a daily basis, as her jobs require her to take care of people who are literally on their death beds. In her experience she too says that it is always the living who have a harder time with death than the patient dying. She also said that even among Christians - who know that they are going home to the Lord, there is difficulty letting a loved one go. I think because death requires trusting in what we cannot see and what no one can tell us about, it causes fear. I don't know...

Natala said...

thank you so much for this... i just finished writing about a tragic death of a friend, and through it all learning so much of jesus, learning the ways of jesus through her.
thank you for writing this today, my heart has been uplifted.

Anonymous said...

Death is always so near, isn't it? And then, morning comes, life looms, our chests heave and fall... In the midst of it all, in your words, once again, I heard the voice of Christ, calling me to come closer. Thank you.

olympiada said...

Hi Raga - I can totally relate to the intensity of your post. Thank you for putting into words what I could not. You have much more courage than I and you give me words I do not have. Of course my godfather connected me to you so I am not surprised. Where do you go to Divine Liturgy?

Heather Diane Tipton said...

ooh Love the new header you have up there.

It's been a while since you posted, (haven't even heard back in email), so I've been praying for you. Asking God's blessing, love and peace on you and your family

Andre Daley said...

Thank you for sharing that.