Hospitals and clinics spread out in three different states, most of them multiple hours away, are this Missionary of Mercy’s lot in life. I love it. I’m forever bringing parishioners to and from hospitals, anointing them there, hearing confessions, bringing Holy Communion. Lots of “Last Rites” – in the plural – as also included are papal blessings and plenary indulgences. I love it. My only regret, and their only regret, is that I cannot bi-locate. I’m only me.
I’m totally flat out with my parishioners at all the far-flung hospitals beyond the mountains. But for other priests, there is help to be had, that is, when there’s a hospital in the parish, you know, a big-city-parish, with a better opportunity to involve, say, the Legion of Mary in discovering if there are any Catholics in the hospital that day who would like a priest to stop in for a visit. This is especially helpful in anti-Catholic regions.
The Legion of Mary is great, as they actually work with and not against the priest. They won’t pretend to anoint people or hear their confessions. They’ll leave that to the priest. And the priest should visit new patients himself to see what’s up with them, if they need Confession and Anointing and would like to be put on the list for Communion during their stay and possibly then later at home, depending.
The Legion of Mary is doing great in southern Korea (so to speak), and in Africa, where, in many places, it is limited to men, as it’s really quite the ordeal to visit villages that might be a refuge for violence including anti-Catholic, anti-Christian violence. I think we’ve lost sight of the militancy we should have.
I do think the time is coming in America when martyrs will be abundant. Europe is ripe for this. First it was the Jews who laid down their lives for believing in the Messiah who is to come into the world. Then it will be the those who follow the Jews in believing in Jewish Jesus who is the One who is to come into the world, as Jewish Martha says in the Gospel of John.
If we use the Legion of Mary as a canary in the coal mine, as it were, these USA look like were going to go even farther into the darkness. I remember a priest saying that there is no way that he would work with the Legion of Mary. “I’m not going to attend any meetings with them,” he exclaimed, “as long as they continue to say that old-fashioned Rosary.”
Whatever. The “little flock” of the Lord can say the Rosary all on their own! And do! Hah!
And then we help each other get to know Jesus and Jesus’ good mom.
Then we help each other get to heaven, helping each other keep up with the sacraments.