I was in great pain and saw my doctor, who rushed me into hospital, where I had tests which all turned out to be negative. The very last test was an ultra-sound. By this time I was so disturbed I took the sensor from the specialist and pressed it against my stomach where it hurt the most. What it showed so shocked the specialist that I was rushed into emergency surgery. Three days later I woke up in great pain and saw that the sheet covering me had blood on it. I lifted it and on my stomach was a colostomy bag and there were drips in my hands and nose.
I wished I had not opened my eyes; I was petrified and distressed at what had happened to my body – it was all cut up. I asked the nurse for some pain killers but she said I had already had so much morphine she couldn’t give me any more. Frightened, I said to her, ‘What is happening to me’. She said, ‘Be quiet, you are lucky to be alive. Not many people would have survived the operation you’ve had.’ I could see an open window and wanted to jump out of it.
I knew that Jesus had saved my life, but for what purpose I couldn’t understand. I felt I could only suffer as he did. The surgeon who operated on me was Jewish and said that everything had been done and I should pray to God. My body was not healing – it was full of infection.
A nun visited me every day and prayed with me. She said there was a chapel and asked if I would like to go to Sunday Mass. I said ‘Yes.’ I thought I will meet with Jesus as the pain in my body was unbearable. The Sister took me to the chapel in a wheelchair with all the apparatus in my body and I saw many other sick people in wheelchairs.
At communion time I suddenly found tears running down my face although I wasn’t crying. I was also anointed with the oil of healing.
I felt at peace – a peace that cannot be expressed in words. I felt loved.
Despite the tears, I was praying with joy, knowing that Jesus in the Eucharist would heal me. Strangely, I wasn’t surprised. The tears washed away my pain and cleansed my sick body of the infection. I knew I would heal.
When the Sister took me up to the ward I felt so happy and I was not frightened any more.
I had to have two more operations and spent 12 months in and out of hospital, and everything went well.
- Chapter 1: How the Eucharist Evolved
- Chapter 2: Preparation to Opening Prayer
- Chapter 3: Liturgy of the Word, Creed, Intercessions
- Chapter 4: Preparation of the Gifts
- Chapter 5: Liturgy of the Eucharist
- Chapter 6: Communion and Dismissal
- Chapter 7: The Post-Eucharist Mission
- Chapter 8: The Abiding Presence
- Chapter 9: Prayer before the Blessed Sacrament
- Chapter 10: Eucharist and Reconciliation
- Chapter 11: Eucharist as Nourishment
- Chapter 12: Eucharist as Transformation
- Chapter 13: Eucharist and Covenant
- Chapter 14: Eucharist and Sacrifice
- Chapter 15: Eucharist as Memorial
- Chapter 16: Eucharist and Hope
- Chapter 17: Eucharist and Ecumenism
- Chapter 18: Eucharist and the Cosmos
- Chapter 19: Eucharist and Mystery
- Chapter 20: Eucharist and Living Simply
- Chapter 21: Conclusion
- Appendix: Eucharistic Prayers
- Witness Stories
- Further Reading
- The Author
- Copyright Notice
Contact Frank O’Dea SSS
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