Wednesday, September 19, 2012

"You Visited Me" - Being Present When Someone is in Pain

To some extent, I think we are all "fixers." When someone is sick or hurting, we want to do something to help the situation. Sometimes, however, the best thing to do is simply be with the person, to share our time and our presence. But, despite our good intentions, that can be so hard. What do you say when someone is hurting or ill and there is no indication that the situation will get better? Our fear of saying or doing the right thing can keep us from saying or doing anything at all.

Sister Karen Zielinski, OSF, offers some practical ideas of what to do and say in this situation in her recent article for St. Anthony Messenger: You Visited Me.

Her conclusion offers a role model for each of us:


Francis of Assisi inspires me. Thomas of Celano wrote, “Francis once took a certain sick brother, who he knew had a longing for grapes, into the vineyard and, sitting down under the vine, he first ate to give the other courage to eat.” Francis sat down with the brother and ate. He did not just send the brother the grapes. He was present.

Let us all share grapes with our sick loved ones.



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