MRSA Hepatitis Plague: it’s what we do.

[[ I would put a picture of one elderly person I anointed last night, but its all too horrific. ]]

Yesterday Sassy the Subaru had hundreds of more miles put on her going to far flung places for Communion calls and anointing. People I go to see in the mountains of WNC are often on their way out or are terribly sick. I am reminded of carrying around a plague victim in Calcutta (yes, plague).

Jesus watches all of this. A front row seat. He came with me in the Blessed Sacrament. He watched as I laid hands on the head of an elderly lady with a huge MRSA boil on her head (getting close to her eye), and then anointed her. Not the first time I did this for her. I’m thinking that Jesus is just fine with all that. This kind of thing makes you respect doctors and nurses who are continuously surrounded by injurious and deadly things.

I have to ask myself if I was the patient if I wouldn’t want a priest to provide sacraments and blessings? Yes, I would. I remember as a seminarian that one of my summers was to be spent in India volunteering for Mother Teresa’s home for the dying. The Rector told me to reconsider going because I might get sick. I told him someone has to do it, whether I meant volunteer or get sick or both I don’t remember. Pretty sure it was both as his comment made me pretty upset. I did call to mind even then that Jesus came among us to die, and on purpose, so, why not do this? I did pick up some awful things in India, and the Rector said upon my return: “I told you so.” At which point I said that I was O.K. with that and wouldn’t change a thing.

Anyway, I had no place to wash my hands last night after finishing with the MRSA patient and had to drive many hours before arriving home, at which point I used a bleach wipe thingy on my hands, but had meanwhile touched about every part of my face in those hours as people do. O well. I’ll have to bring the bleach wipes with me in the car for these frequent enough occasions. If it’s too late it’s too late. MRSA, a bacterial infection, does respond perhaps, maybe, to some very few antibiotics. I guess Hepatitis is, instead, a virus, though it sometimes just goes away on its own. So, whatever. You have to die of something, right? I would be happy to die from such things. It’s not like getting one’s head chopped off like Thomas More or those who are victims of ISIS, but, hey, I’m O.K. with it.

I’m such a martyr, such a drama-queen, right? But here’s the point: actually, I just don’t care about consequences. I’m so happy with doing what I do in carrying Jesus around these backsides of these back-mountains that I don’t care about what may come. I think it’s the most wonderful thing in the world not to care if only one can do what one needs to do in whatever situation until one can no longer do it. There is a certain freedom in this, a “NO FEAR” thing. I wish everyone was this way. Sure, our military and law enforcement and firemen and rescue squads all have “NO FEAR” and just do what they are going to do regardless of the consequences, if only they get a chance to serve. But there are other more numerous unsung heroes and, usually, heroines, not only home-health care nurses, but those relatives at home who care for those with all sorts of problems. I think we will be surprised at the gates of heaven about those who said they had “NO FEAR” but were frozen in fear, and those who said they were fearful or who said they had “NO FEAR” but in any case did what they had to do.

My putting myself among the “we” in the title to this post is, I guess, a bit fraudulent, as I visit here and there, even while others live in these situations day-in, day-out. But it is still a we, in my case, Jesus and myself. And actually, people couldn’t care less about me. They just want Jesus. As it should be. So, just Jesus. Jesus alone. Amen.

P.S. I mean, all I can take credit for is putting wounds on Jesus. Anything good is Him.

4 Comments

Filed under Missionaries of Mercy, Priesthood, Vocations

4 responses to “MRSA Hepatitis Plague: it’s what we do.

  1. nancyv

    And this shows your complete love & trust in God, Fr. Damian, I mean Fr. George!
    “At the end of the day, I want to hear people say, that my heart looks like Your Heart” (That’s from a song from The Story)

  2. Father George David Byers

    We’ll see what complaints I make if I ever get sick

  3. sanfelipe007

    ” But it is still a we, in my case, Jesus and myself. And actually, people couldn’t care less about me. They just want Jesus. As it should be. So, just Jesus. Jesus alone. Amen.”

    Exactly!

    Your fellow MoM, Father Bruce Nieli gave a three day mission during which he recounted a poignant story about a troublesome youth in one of his Summer classes he had given decades ago. This youth (about thirty or so, now) called him at his “work” wanting him to visit him as he lay dying of AIDS in Bellevue. So Father Bruce went to see him. After the anointing, prayers and “death vigil” (my words, not his), the now once troublesome boy, now a man, passed away peacefully. Father Bruce struggled with experience and came to this understanding:

    “And I was wondering why he wanted to see me, out of all the people he knew? Then the Holy Spirit said ‘You idiot’ – that’s how the Holy Spirit addresses me – ‘He didn’t want to see YOU. He wanted to see Jesus! You were the only person whose name he could remember!'”

  4. Father George David Byers

    Beautiful story. Thanks for that. The Holy Spirit calls me a donkey.

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