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Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Riding Shotgun V

I was off last week, so I did not change the prayer cards in the car.

This week, I have two prayer cards along for the ride. One is a prayer before surgery, another is a prayer card for one of the sisters at the Carmelite convent in Irving who died in March.

First, let us look at the prayer before surgery:

I like this picture because it reminds me of places where the Crucifix is placed along a path, inviting the pilgrim to pause for a moment's prayer or reflection. I can think of a garden in San Antonio,or the Grotto in Emmittsburg, Maryland, where one can pray the Stations of the Cross while enjoying the great outdoors. It is a bit more difficult with little children, though.

On the back, there is a prayer for those about to have surgery:

I love the fact that it includes an act of contrition, because God knows that people do die in surgery. It is my strong desire that I would be able to receive the Anointing of the Sick and be able to make a good confession before any operation I might need.

In my profession, there have been times where I have anticipated the death of a patient - especially in the case of trauma patients. At that point, when general anesthesia is more resuscitation than anesthesia, I have actually leaned close to the head of the patient and said prayers for them. I tell them that they are in danger of dying, that God loves them, and then say an act of contrition for them. If there is any chance that they have any awareness of what is happening to them, I hope to help them prepare for the end of their life.

It has been years since I have had to do this, and it saddens me to think of those who have died in the operating room after some act of violence or imprudence.


The prayer card for Mother Jeanne Marie Ange of the Infant Jesus, OCD, I think also has a medical connection. I have to check with my sources, but I believe that Mother was a nurse and then a CRNA before entering Carmel.

I don't recall meeting Mother, because most of our contact was with the porter - and even that was through a screen. I suspect she was not the one to run and answer the door whenever we dropped something off there. We did see the sisters around All Saints Day, when the children would dress up as saints and the sisters would have to guess their names.

One year, I was a prop for one of my daughters who was dressed up as St. Therese of Liseaux. I just had to stand next to her with a handkerchief over my face; that is what Louis Martin did a lot of around the end of his life. The sisters figured it out, though.

In totally unrelated news, the 'Big Blue' got new shocks and tires. Now it is a smoother and safer ride for the whole family.

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Our Lady of the Mysterious Decapitation

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Prayer to Our Lady of the Mysterious Decapitation

Mary my mother, take my hand today, and all days.
Lead me away from all occasions of sin.
Guide me in fulfilling your last words in the Gospel,
"Do whatever He tells you."

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