Saturday, May 10, 2008

Spiritual resources for the terminally ill and caregivers: Let this cup pass from me

I sometimes hear people speak as if being scared of death is somehow less than Christian -- as if we should meet the thought of death with a Stoic calm. If the example of Christ teaches us anything, it teaches us that we are not called to be Stoics. A genuine love of live will lead any sane and healthy person to hate the thought of our own deaths. Pain and exhaustion may rob us of that love of live, but for a sane and healthy person, aversion and avoidance are not proof of a lack of faith, but of a love of life.
Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will." Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. "Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?" he asked Peter."Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak." He went away a second time and prayed, "My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done." When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. (Matt 26:39-43)
  • It is ok to be scared.
  • It is ok not to want to die.
  • Your loved ones may be exhausted and may be napping when you need them.
  • It is ok to wish there was any other way but this.
Or as they might have said in Jesus' day: L'chaim!

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