Conversations over Chemo

Some of most intimate conversations you can have with another person are when they are dying. I would like to think my mother was as excited for her chemo treatments as I was. It was during these visits that we engaged in conversations that most likely would not have occurred if a chemo drip was not in place. The conversations were passionate, but at times very silent. Looking back now, we were both letting go, closing all chapters, getting ready for the next book. My mom was holding on to all she loved very lightly. She had that inner freedom that Saint Ignatius called indifference.

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St Alberto Hurtado S.J.

Saint Alberto Hurtado S.J. a Modern Saint and Chilean priest also died of Pancreatic cancer. When the news was brought to him he replied “ Contento Senor Contento”. (Content Lord, content). “Now I will have time to prepare myself to meet my maker.” Through Holy Indifference he recognized God’s will clearly. I hold that every poor man, every vagrant, every beggar is Christ carrying his cross. And as Christ, we must love and help him. We must treat him as a brother, a human being like ourselves. If we were to start a campaign of love for the poor and homeless, we would, in a short time, do away with depressing scenes of begging, children sleeping in doorways and women with babies in their arms fainting in our streets.” St. Alberto Hurtado, SJ

At the beginning of The Spiritual Exercises, Saint Ignatius sets the stage with  “The Principle and Foundation”. One of the points is indifference. In Ignatian vocabulary, the term indifference means that we hold all of God’s gifts reverently, gratefully but also lightly. Able to embrace all gifts, or let them go, depending on how they help us get closer to God.

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Our Lady of Montserrat
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Benedictine Abby Montserrat

Towards the end of my walk in September 2015, I look forward to reaching Montserrat. At 4055 feet above sea level is a majestic Benedictine Abbey. It was here that Saint Ignatius kneeled in front of the Black Madonna and handed over his sword and fancy outfit. I imagine it was here that the old Ignatius died. It was here that intimate prayer and conversations began…leading him to that cave in Manresa.

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