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.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.
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
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