A Dose of God’s Medicine
Some people wittily state that “experience is what you have when you no longer need it” – however, I think it is never too late to share your experience with others. Perhaps the world would be better off if everyone were to be assigned an elderly pers
by Benjamin Cieply, LC | Source:
It was the first time and only time I met Father John, but I will never forget his example.
Fr. John had served as a parish priest in several churches throughout Brooklyn and now, well into his 90’s, he was living the last years of his life in the constant care of a nursing home.
Upon arriving, a companion and I went to the main desk to inquire which room Fr. John was in. The nurse on duty immediately perked up when we told her that we had come to visit Fr. John, and she personally offered herself to escort us down the hall to his room.
On the way she spoke how the elderly priest was a real pick-me-up for the entire staff, as well as for the other patients. Lightheartedly, she mentioned that he was the most “active-retired” person she had ever met.
Though confined to a hospital bed, Fr. John was the promoter of several activities to help lighten the atmosphere and put things in a more spiritual perspective. Everyone loved Fr. John and, as if to stress his degree of sanctity, the nurse added that Father was undoubtedly undergoing much pain given his sickness.
With this introduction, my companion and I went in to visit with Fr. John – we spoke for nearly two hours. During our conversation I was inspired by his wisdom and accomplishments while equally impressed by his joy and simplicity. It was easy to understand why he was so admired. But near the end of our visit, something happened which verified his holiness.
It was close to bedtime so the nurses were doing their rounds to make one last check on the patients before turning off the lights. Since we were still visiting, the nurse simply stuck her head in to ask Fr. John if he had taken his medicine. Fr. John just smiled and, lifting his hand to point towards the wall, he responded, “Thank you, but my medicine is over there”. Curious, the nurse looked around the door and noticed that he was pointing at the Crucifix.
Perhaps we could all use a dose of this same medicine.
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