This past Monday at Sts. Philip and James parish, Fr. Tom spoke about St. Marianne Cope, a German Sister belonging to the Sisters of St. Francis of Syracuse. Among other things, he shared how St. Marianne traveled to Hawaii to help serve those afflicted with leprosy who were living throughout the islands. You can read more about her life’s journey by checking her out on the internet – or just ask Alexa or Google!
It was interesting to see how the children responded when Father asked them if they knew what leprosy was. A few knew, and then he described it as a deterioration of the body, which includes lesions on the skin, disfiguring of the face, and often the loss of some extremities. Fr. Tom then added that leprosy still exists in the world today, except in a different form. I began to think: it is telling that medicine has found a cure for what society hasn’t!
What do I mean by that?
What are the different forms of leprosy that we encounter today? If leprosy is a form of deterioration, what signs of that same deterioration do we see in today’s society?
I’ve noticed the lack of respect for others, ourselves, and our planet. We have become a violent people, always settling our disagreements with force or weapons. There can be a sense of entitlement that is becoming far too commonplace. What’s in it for me? can all too easily replace Love thy neighbor as thyself.
Believe me, I am not pointing fingers. I’m just observing what I see around me, and even in myself. So what can we do?
I think we need to name our own leprosy and claim it, so it can be healed and we can be whole again. And how do we do that? Well, in scripture, we read how the lepers approached Jesus and were healed. So it is for us; we need to approach Jesus in prayer and ask for the insight on how to heal ourselves. In doing so, we need to be kind and caring to ourselves, so that healing can take place. It was with that same great love and devotion that St. Marianne Cope cared for her patients.
Perhaps we need also look at what forms of leprosy we see around us as within us, reflecting on how we might open our minds and hearts to healing. As each of us heals, the world becomes a better place. Why not try to eradicate in society what medicine has successfully begun to heal in our time? Have a great healing week!
During your journey this week, you may want to look to this prayer:
Be at Peace, a prayer by St. Francis de Sales
Do not look forward in fear to the changes in life; rather, look to them with full hope that as they arise, God, whose very own you are, will lead you safely through all things; and when you cannot stand it, God will carry you in His arms.
Do not fear what may happen tomorrow; the same understanding Father who cares for you today will take care of you then and every day.
He will either shield you from suffering or will give you unfailing strength to bear it. Be at peace and put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginations. Amen.
Till next week,
P.S.: Just think: today is the feast of St. Paul. He had to get knocked off of a horse to change!