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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Praying (and Suffering) on Holy Week

In observance of the Holy Week, it's customary for me to engage in praying, alone, in our bedroom, with less distraction as much as possible.

This wonderful Wednesday morning, while still in bed, but already awake, the first thing I did as soon as I opened my eyes was to say, " thank you, Lord. Thank you, Jesus." Then, I prayed the rosary. It's also a relief for my chronic lower back pain that I remained lying down in bed, (nursing/managing my ongoing lower back pain and fibromyalgia) while my wife was already up, preparing herself for her dental appointment today, at ten this morning.

Before she and her sister (my sis-in-law) left the house, she came up to our room with a cup of oatmeal. She saw me still in bed reading and meditating on one of the articles in the Catholic magazine The Word Among Us.  She was encouraging me to rise up and eat my oatmeal. First off, I thanked her for bringing up my food. I told her, "I'll eat it later." Then, she came up to me and kissed me. "Get up now, and eat your oatmeal," she insisted. I ignored her because I was feeling uncomfortable and kinda felt like drowsy or sleepy.

I didn't say a word. I don't know if she, or other members of my household, understand my condition and what I'm feeling, although she knows I have this debilitating, chronic lower back (spine) problem (degenerative disc disease/degenerative joint disease or DDD/DJD) and fibromyalgia. I have some doubts if my family understand the scope of my (permanent) physical (and emotional, and probably mental and social) disability, despite the fact that they're all documented (my diagnosis, my x-rays and findings by my orthopedic and rheumatology  doctors, etc.) in my voluminous medical records. Anyway, I know myself more than everybody else, except our Creator, Almighty God, and His Son, Jesus Christ (who is my Inspiration for being alive still).

Now, what struck me, when my wife left our room this morning, was when she uttered or said these words, "it's your choice" to be lying down still in bed. "It's your choice" to have this medical condition? It's my choice to have pain all over my body? It's my choice to be lying down in our bed to manage my chronic lower back pain? Did I choose to have this kind of "sedentary" life, with all the medical problems I have?Did I ever dream or wish to retire early, with permanent disability? One of my plans before was to retire from the Service after twenty years and to practice my profession, teaching in schools, preferably middle or high school, of which I have had the experience in late 70s and early 80s in the Philippines (teaching Communication Arts-English and Social Studies) before I joined the U.S. Navy in California in 1985. God knows how difficult for me to accept the fact that I'm disabled! It was hard for me to swallow that I am a disabled person, while I look and dress good on the outside (especially when I attend/participate in the Mass every Sunday)! Lord, have mercy on me! Alleviate my pain and suffering! Is it my choice to have this kind of life now, Lord?

I always pray, "Lord, Jesus, may I share in your life, passion, death, and resurrection" especially this time/season of the year, Lent and Easter. I believe that I feel His pain, and suffering, when His time draws near to be crucified. Mine is minute or nothing, though, compared to what He had gone through. But physically, I've been in pain, sometimes to the point that is excruciating, debilitating and unbearable (that it numbs me to just keep still and bear it!). I've observed this in my body, every year, especially on the Holy Week. I haven't told this truth or observation to anyone, not even my immediate family. Quite strange feeling, huh?

Admittedly, I get comforted and relieved, especially yesterday, when I listened to Gregorian chants and watched inspirational and educational and entertaining religious shows/videos on YouTube. Thanks to God. Thank you, Jesus, my Savior! Thanks YouTube and the uploaders of the videos I embedded with this blog post. As always, thank you, Google and Blogger. Thank you, God!

Well, folks, until next time around. Thank you for your time. Take care now. And, have a blessed Holy Week, everyone! May God bless us all!-chris a. quilpa, 04April2012.

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