Ultimatum

death-painting.jpg

No, my father will not be ‘spared’ in the end. Like all of us. The final diagnosis is terminal cancer. The prognosis chillingly blunt. It is just that God said Not yet! Biopsy confirmed adenocarcinoma. The liver findings are metastases. The location of the primary carcinoma will be found from results which we will have on Monday. Possible locations: colon, pancreas, … No point to operate, we already have metastases.Life expectancy: very uncertain since we still do not know location of primary cancer but MAYBE 6 – 12 months …

Glory to God for all things! Surely God is not our Servant. We are His. Likewise, our will is not to be done. But His. His Love and Providence has shone and is still shining, again, so brilliantly, through this life’s trial that my heart is moved to Doxology, leaping with Joy and joining  St. Paisios of Mount Athos at  his ‘Crazy’ Beatitudes. Not the least of such blessings was my father’s conscious decision, before this crisis escalated, to approach the sacrament of Holy Confession for the first time in his life at the age of 86 (!) This was a decision which caught all of us by surprise! All but the spiritual fathers who have been praying all their lives for this.  My father accordingly prepared, confessed and partook of the Holy Communion. Glory to God for all things! 

3.jpgDetail from Descent into Hades

*Pay attention to the heart-rending detail of Christ’s crucifixion wound on the hand. Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh, or what it Lev Gillet, once commented that these crucifixion wounds are to remain in Jesus Resurrected Body to Eternity as a token of His Love and Sacrifice.

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Ossuary in Dionysiou Monastery – Mount Athos

Written c. 750 .A.D.
“Media vita in morte sumus ; quem quaerimus adjutorem, nisi te Domine, qui pro peccatis nostris juste irasceris? Sancte Deus, sancte fortis, sancte et misericors Salvator, amarae morti ne tradas nos.”
“In the midst of life we are in death: of whom may we seek for succour, but of thee, O Lord, who for our sins art justly displeased? Yet, O Lord God most holy, O Lord most mighty, O holy and most merciful Saviour, deliver us not into the bitter pains of eternal death.”
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