“Love is also the fullest source of the answer to the question of the meaning of suffering. This answer has been given by God to man in the cross of Jesus Christ.”
( Saint John Paul the Great – Salvifici Doloris 13)
Whenever I look at Christ on the Cross I see His love for us; Love in action, suffering up there for us. However, when I look around today, I do not see love like that everywhere. I see a lot of selfishness and pride. But just when my hope in mankind seems damaged, God shows me, there is always hope.
I went to visit my friend, Eva today. Eva has pancreatic cancer. Eva is in pain. She vomits most days a lot. She weighs about 90 lbs. Eva is suffering more physically than a lot of us know. And because of Eva, today I saw Christ in action.
When I arrived Eva was vomiting. But she had dressed herself up and she was determined to make the best of her day. Not once did she complain. She in fact, apologized to me for vomiting. Two other friends came by, and we sat together in the sunshine. 10 minutes a day, that’s what the Doctor said Eva needed. She was worried about us. Were we too hot? Did we need water?
She spoke of her son and how bad she felt for him because he had to make his own food. She never scolded him if he made a mess making his food, because she said, she should be making it for him, but sometimes there’s too much fatigue. She took him to a rock climbing place and paid for him and for herself to go in, even though she couldn’t climb, just so she could stand at the bottom and watch him go up. She wanted him to be happy and have fun.
She said she was honest with him about her cancer. She didn’t want to lie to him. He needs to be able to trust her. She spoke of how she could buy a car (she doesn’t have one), but didn’t because her husband and child might need the money. She wants to live. She doesn’t want her son to be without a mother or her husband to be without his wife.
She said life had a new perspective; that when your sick, things that used to matter didn’t matter that much and the things that do matter, well they come into perspective.
To put it mildly, here is a women, in the midst of a horrible suffering, who is thinking about everyone else but herself. She has a grateful attitude. That my friends is true love. That is Christ on the Cross. She has picked up her cross and she is carrying it better than most healthy people I know (myself included). She carries her cross with a grateful heart and a heart filled with love for others, sacrificing where she can to make sure they are happy in the midst of her suffering. Eva is teaching me. She is teaching me that suffering has a meaning when it is done with love. She is teaching me about Christ.
Please pray for Eva. And for her family. She is a beautiful soul. May God heal her. And please make a donation to help find a cure for this horrible cancer.