Thursday, November 17, 2011

Devotion for today: Praise for those who relieve suffering

Scripture for meditation: Romans 12:7-8
If a man's gift is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously.

Christ tells us in Matthew 25:31-36, 40
When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink. I was a stranger and you clothed me. I was ill and you comforted me, in prison and you came to visit me.” “I assure you as often as you did it for one of my least brothers, you did it for me.”

Padre Pio tells us:
“We must, at least, give our entire being to Love, to charity…He who would carry out this ideal of Our Lord must be self-forgetful, and rising above his selfishness, bow down to the sufferings and the wounds of his fellowman, as to a brother. He makes them his own, knowing how to suffer with his brother for the love of God.  He must know how to instill hope into his heart and bring back a smile on his lips, because he has restored a ray of light into his soul. Such a man offers up to God the most beautiful, the most noble of prayers, because such a prayer springs from sacrifice. It is the essence of love, of the unselfish gift of oneself, body and soul! In every sick man there is Jesus in Person who is suffering, in every poor man it is Jesus Himself who in languishing; in every sick and poor, Jesus is doubly visible.” Padre Pio, the Stigmatist by Rev. Charles Mortimer Carty, Tan Books and Publishers, 1973.

Prayer: A Caregiver’s Prayer
Lord, bless me this morning, and each one I rise,
With a wealth of strength, please bring hope to my eyes.
Be sure I’m well-grounded for those in my care
Even if the challenge becomes much to bear
Should this day bring hardship, please help me to find
A beautiful memory for some peace of mind
Please shower my life with compassion and love
As I take my cues from your guidance above.
Jill Eisnaugle

My thoughts:  I have been in the roles of care receiver and care giver in my life. I have felt the inexplicable comfort of selfless hands and warm smiles, of generous hearts and loving eyes. As we go about caring for others, be they babies or the elderly, sick or troubled, let us never forget to see Christ in their suffering eyes, to feel His pain in theirs, and to be honored that we were chosen to care for Christ in “the least of His people”.

Your prayer to God: It is not easy to constantly care for another person, especially someone who is suffering in any way. Patience is thin, understanding is at a minimum, and the continual needs that must be met are, at times, overwhelming. Let us pray to God for the love to serve with a noble heart open to sacrifice, a wise mind open to help from others, and a compassionate soul which acknowledges its need of God’s grace. Dear God, I cannot do this alone. I want to be a good caregiver, yet at times I am so tired and frustrated. Please give me the strength to carry on in a loving manner, to seek rest when I need it, and to ask for help when the time comes. Jesus, I place all my trust in you. Amen.

No comments: