The Roman Catholic Church in The Bahamas is part of the worldwide Roman Catholic Church, under the spiritual leadership of the Pope. The diocese was elevated to a full diocese, as the diocese of Nassau in June 1960. On June 22nd, 1999, the diocese was again elevated as the new Archdiocese of Nassau.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Why are you sad today?

Having worked in the transport medical industry for the past 12 years I can truly give thanks to God for all that I am and all that I have. As an Air Ambulance pilot I've seen many sick patients, from the 23 week newborn baby to the 95 year old great grand parent, either coming to Nassau or being airlifted to the United States for further treatment. At times I look in the obituary the following week and some of the same people I've transported have gone home; I can only pray.

As a Christian I find myself praying for them from the cockpit and try to give them some comforting words whenever the opportunity presents itself. Patients who impact me the most would have to be the premature babies, who come into the world fighting to survive. Some of them never make it though, to see the wonders and trials that the world has to offer. As a parent myself I am always touched when I try to imagine what the mother and father must be enduring as their baby is whisked away to Nassau for further medical treatment. The infants have no idea what's going on, but I can only hope and pray that the family turn to God during their time of suffering.

Patients who have also touched me in a very profound and personal way would be those who fall in the same age bracket as myself, and are of a similar nuclear family grouping. I try not to get too caught up in the case at hand but sometimes feel some connection to certain patients; such as young men who find themselves bedridden, unable to provide for his family due to his current circumstances. Or the mother who has young children that she must leave at home with a relative while she travels with her sick husband on an emergency flight for treatment that can help save his life. It can be very difficult to remain neutral when dealing with the sick, especially when you try to place yourselves in their shoes.

As I think back on the hundreds of patients I have flown, I can't help but stop and give thanks for so many blessings that have been bestowed on me. I am thankful for being able to get up in the morning, being able to dress myself, for having a job, for a roof over my head, for food on my table, for good health and the list goes on and on. Transporting patients with ailments as simply as a fractured ankle to as critical as respiratory distress can leave a lasting impression. Whenever I feel as though I'm having a bad day I look at the patient lying on the stretcher with absolutely no where to go and I become grateful to God for the small things in life, those we tend to take for granted at times.

Absolutely every person in the medical field should be a Christian but I know that's not the case. How could you not be in awe when you see a patient who had no hope of surviving to bounce back completely to good health. As a Catholic Priest mentioned in a talk he gave about how his mother was healed of her cancer, he indicated that it was not the doctor who healed his mother, it was the Grace of God through the doctor who healed his mother. I believe that also to be the case with my son's healing when he became sick. Some patients appear to be very vulnerable when they are down and do not care for anyone's sympathy. Others at times wait for a word of hope and encouragement. So what has you so sad and discouraged? Have you lost your job, is your home up for foreclosure, are you going through a divorce? Whatever the reason why you may be sad remember that someone can have it twice as bad as you.

If you are able to breathe, walk, speak, hear, and able to see, then stop for a moment and give God thanks for his blessings on you. There are many who wish they were able to stand, yet alone walk. There are people who wish they were able to see things that you see daily, the rising of the sun, the rain falling on the earth, a magnificent moonlit night. There are those who wish they were able to hear the sound of the birds in the morning, or hear the voice of their children they brought into this world.

Having been given the opportunity through the grace of God to use my gifts and talents to help others I have been able to appreciate the things in life that we take for granted. Before someone becomes ill their lives were just as normal as the average human being, yet they are dealt a blow that they never would expect. On average, those who have faith in Jesus are able to overcome their misfortune by trying to find the good from their sickness. Others however, become sad and sometimes even depressed for the hand that was dealt to them. They would also blame others or even God for being sick.

Using God's example of suffering on the cross for the redemption of souls, we too should send up our prayers of suffering to Jesus for someone who is lost and in need of God's Grace and mercy in their lives. When we hurt, sometimes we forget to turn to the true healer of sickness, of both body and soul, Jesus! By offering our sufferings to Christ we build up the Body of Christ, 1 Corinthians 12:26 "If [one] part suffers, all the parts suffer with it; if one part is honored, all the parts share its joy." We should all be trying to ensure that every soul we come in contact with has the right tools and knowledge necessary to walk in the footsteps of Jesus.

Can suffering be considered a blessing? In my personal opinion I would have to say "yes". When Moses came down from the burning mount and saw that the people had sinned against God by making a molten calf to worship, Moses fell down before God without eating bread or drinking water for forty days. He did this for the sins that the people had committed against God. He chose to suffer for the people just as our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ came to this earth to suffer and die on the cross for reparation for our sins.

Stop feeling sorry for yourself. The next time you have pain or may be suffering from an ailment send up an offering of your sickness to Christ for someone who needs Christ. It can be as simple as saying something like: "Heavenly Father, use this cancer for the salvation of my sister, or for the souls in purgatory. Suffering and pain is temporary as we read in 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 "For this momentary light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to what is seen but to what is unseen; for what is seen is transitory, but what is unseen is eternal."

As the old adage goes "No Pain, No Gain".

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