Tuesday, October 26, 2010
October 26 – Reigning Peace
The Abbess of a certain monastery discovered that she had Multiple Sclerosis, which would account for the stiffness and sometimes wobbly nature of her bows before the throne of grace.
One day the neurologists’ suspicions were aroused and an MRI was ordered; the next day the Abbess underwent gruesome nerve damage testing; the next confirmed MS or a “pretender”, and the Abbess went into hospital for a spinal tap and five days of steroid treatments to combat the disease that was consuming the healthy Myelin in her brain and spinal cord.
A quiet hospital room makes a superlative cloister. She read her Bible, and comfort was on every page. When she couldn’t sleep, she prayed and meditated on the Word, as she had been taught as a novice to do. The hep-lock in her arm allowed her mobility without tubes, so she was free to move about; she sat with visitors, with her Bible, with a hymnal, with Jane Austen, and with the Lord, hour after hour.
Every six hours her treatments came, in between vitals’ checks and other nursing objectives, just to remind her that the loss of sensation and coordination were not attributable to a simple neuropathy. The formerly mysterious Lehrmitte’s Sign continued to pulse down her spine, saying, as the doctors had said, “This is M.S. . . . This is M.S.”
All the while, the peace and the joy of the Lord began to flow through her soul as surely as the steroids were flowing through her veins. At times, she could barely contain the joy of knowing what every true monastic knows: in every trial and all tribulation, the nearness of God is our good. (Psalm 73:28)