Wednesday, July 19, 2006

It was good for me to be afflicted the line from Psalm 118 goes. I took a spill on one of the Monastery's bicycles on Monday and am without the use of my left arm for a couple of weeks, not to mention having to endure a bit of discomfort from road rash and a separated shoulder. I have been considering for awhile certain restrictions on this form of exercise, and this accident prompted me to implement one: only slow, fat-tire bikes on Chicago streets from now on.

Lying in the ER for a few hours gives one a good moment to pray for the suffering and to take stock of life. At first, the doctor did not think my injury was more than a strain. After x-rays showed the separation and a possible fracture of the collarbone, he changed my recovery strategy slightly and decided to immobilize the shoulder. I have often heard it said that hearing what is wrong is a relief, much better than wondering, even if the diagnosis is dire. I certainly had this experience, in part because a mere strain would have seemed to make ER trip a waste. I was also in a bit of pain and don't like to think of myself as unable to suffer a strain, etc.

As I waited to be discharged, it occurred to me that Christ the great Physician of souls does something similar. His diagnosis, to quote Paul, is that "sin is at work in me." What comprises our strategy for recovery from this wound? Repentence and belief in the Good News. Like learning that my shoulder was more seriously injured than previously diagnosed, sometimes the discovery of sin at work indicates a bigger problem than we realized. But we should take comfort nonetheless: trust the heavenly Doctor! This is an image of Christ very dear to the Fathers, particularly Crysostom. We would do well to rediscover it today.

I have many more reflections, but I will only share a few, as typing is slow!
God's blessings to you!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ouch! Sorry for your injury - been there, etc. May you have a speedy & complete recovery! I will offer a decade of the rosary for this intention.


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If I, who seem to be your right hand and am called Presbyter and seem to
preach the Word of God, If I do something against the discipline of the Church
and the Rule of the Gospel so that I become a scandal to you, The Church, then
may the whole Church, in unanimous resolve, cut me, its right hand, off, and
throw me away.

Origen of Alexandria
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