Luab: Physical pain-A A +A
Saturday, March 16, 2013
WHENEVER relics of saints arrive in Cebu, we realize that there are really so many suffering souls in our midst. Some travel even from distant places just to come here to ask for mercy (from the visiting saints). Volunteers who watch the relics speak of aches in their hearts as they see the desperate eyes (of the faithfl) lifted in supplication.
Only recently, I went through a modicum of pain myself when some parts of my body got infected. For no less than five days, at a duration of at least five hrs a day. I would feel excruciating pain. When the antibiotic ointment would touch the wounds, my skin would react. From the time of application I would get tiny deep pinpricks that I would cry out in pain. I am so much better now and my experience has made me more cognizant of how much others must be suffering in the hospitals or in their respective homes. We, who are so much better off do not only, realize that having physical pains no matter what magnitude they may be can never be taken lightly.
The second realization that hit me was that those in pain are the only ones who can carry their pain. No one can take their place when the pains come. When the pain is at its greatest, we can only cry out to God for mercy, then offer back to God whatever pain we are undergoing, as reparation for our sins.
The pain of others we too cannot borrow or steal. Many of us who have survived cancer are more prone to borrowing the pain of others. We know that the possibility of cancer coming back in other places of our body is there. So when we hear of a friend dying of bone cancer or breast cancer, we begin to believe that we too may have those symptoms, which others are experiencing. I guess that’s just the hypochondriac in us. The brain can be very negative and often it is the source of our fears and worries.
The good thing about pain is that even during the pain we get so many insights. We realize that our pain is really nothing compared to those suffering pains greater than our own.
We only have to experience seeing patients being wheeled in by orderlies at laboratory stations in hospitals to be aware of the physical suffering of other people. Yet we complain of our fear of needles missing our veins for routine blood extractions. We even complain when heplock is put in place so medicine can be given intravenously.
Gout, osteoarthritis, tendonitis, frozen shoulders etc., are common pains for hundreds of people. If you happen to be one of the blessed ones who are free from physical pain, don’t forget to go on your knees, thank the Lord and then pray for the suffering souls.
Funny, how lessons in life come our way through pain. The Stations of the Cross now is no longer an ordinary way of praying for me.
I now can vividly imagine how much those lashes, the crown of thorns, the carrying of the cross, the falling down on stones with Jesus’ wounds, the stripping of his garments which stuck to His wounds, the nails that pierced His hands and feet, the piercing of the lance at Jesus’ side, the hanging on the cross, how much, much more excruciating were the sufferings of Jesus as He bowed to do the Will of His Father.
Now that my pains have subsided a bit, I feel so humble and ashamed that at the height of my pains I cried out, ‘’Have mercy on me Lord. It’s really painful! Please help! ‘’This prayer is also an insight for us. Where else do we go when in pain? Whom do we ask for help? Who is always around to listen, to help and to love?
Last Saturday we had a day of meditation. During the sessions we had time to listen to tapes of Fr. Pereira during ten to twelve minutes prior to meditation. In one of the tapes, we are likened to a little boy who was given a lot of beautiful toys. He got awed, was so happy to receive so many different toys that in the process, he forgot to thank the giver of the toys.
We too are so caught up with the many gifts from above, like living in comfort, freedom from want, plus being showered with so much more of God’s generosity that we sometimes forget the Source of everything that we have.
Now, because most of my pain has passed, I can say that the purpose of physical pain is for us to learn from our mistakes, to be more careful, to appreciate the absence of pain but most of all to thank Jesus for suffering so much unbearable pain, not for him but for us!
Try reflecting on you past pains and see what happens!
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 17, 2013.