Father Adrien Telmon’s missionary zeal in caring for others was indefatigable, but at a price. He had eventually fallen ill and needed to be cared for by the Grey Sisters in Ottawa. Eugene’s letter of gratitude to them for their care is filled with the plea to make Fr. Telmon see the foolishness of his endless activity which affected his health.
“Would to God, my dear Sisters, you had as much power to dissuade this Father from throwing himself into a whirl of activities as you have charity to cure his illness… Tell him that this is not willed by God and consequently no one in the world can demand him to ruin his precious health.”
The image that today’s Reflection title is that of us all wearing masks – to protect each other from that which we might unknowingly pass on to others and to protect our own selves.
Wherever did we get the idea that it is selfish to care for ourselves? Or that we are any less human than those we are sent to love in whatever way that looks like?
I think of how at the height of COVID the paramedics would take the time to don their ppc gear before entering a scene or a building to help those they had been sent to: they would not be able to do what their vocations demanded of them unless they themselves remained healthy.
This morning it is the words of Frank’s prayer that captures my heart: “…may the care I take of myself be motivated on my being there for others.”
That is a prayer born out of love for the other; make me well so that I might help another… It reminds me of Eugene’s prayer to love as God loved him.
Shamelessly, I want to take it as my own and try to live that out…