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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Contemplating healing in a technological age

Do not use without permission.
Instead of preaching to birds, we have to use technology to reach humans who will listen.
As I've gotten older, my ideas have changed but never my basic beliefs and ideals. 

My moral training started out in the all black Christian Methodist Episcopal Church that my parents attended, but I never went to Sunday school there because my parents deemed the one hour daily Catholic Catechism class I was receiving at St. Joseph's School over eight years enough religious indoctrination. 

Now, when I get sick and can't sleep, I revert to my meditative standby: repeating the Lord's Prayer over and over again while listening to soothing music on my IPad and the pronouncements of Dr. Deepak Chopra. When I feel my breathing labored, I pull out my knitting needles and yarn, something I learned as a Girl Scout many years ago, my fingers now concentrating on stitches and how I might give away scarves as Christmas presents.

Last night and way until the morning hours, after taking antibiotics for an infection, I watched a video on the life and death of St. Francis of Assisi. Born into wealth and luxury, he had everything in life going for him until he was imprisoned after a Civil War. Languishing in a dark, damp dungeon for a year until a ransom could be paid, St. Francis contracted malaria. 

After returning to his family and visiting a dilapidated church, he felt called to serve the poor. Despite all odds, he wanted to become a preacher and was granted his wish of becoming a friar by Pope Innocent. He first began preaching to birds depicted as the poor in medieval iconography. He cared for lepers and contacted the dreaded disease. He left the religious ministry he founded because of organization disputes. He died poor and ill at age 44, reciting Psalms with only his closest friends around. 

Such a life could have been lived differently, and many thought he had thrown his life away, but he felt called by God. May God have mercy on us and lead us to a greater understanding of His Will.

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