Tuesday, January 11, 2005

One Year Ago Today

From Father Benedict:

On January 11, I have an anniversary. It’s one that I never particularly wanted to have, or look forward to, but nonetheless it’s coming around. As I was thinking of this anniversary, I decided not to make it the anniversary of the day I almost died, but rather the anniversary of the day I came back from the dead.

I’m very grateful to God to be back and to be able to work and especially to have the use of my brain and mind. Just why I have this is quite mysterious and can be attributed only to God. Your brain cannot last for more than three or four minutes without oxygen; then it begins to deteriorate. Apparently I went twenty-seven minutes without oxygen or any vital signs, including blood pressure. No one can explain it, or at least nobody can explain it in medical terms.

I had several close calls in the first week, one just as close as the night of the accident, but the Lord obviously wanted me remain here and get some things done. How do you feel about life when you’re in such a situation? It’s very simple: You’re not looking for or desiring anything special, you just want to get your work done peacefully and as best you can and get going on the next step of the spiritual journey, which for most of us is that mysterious reality called Purgatory. Having trusted God all these years and looking forward over the edge of death, I have to say that Purgatory doesn’t scare me at all. It can’t be any worse than being on a respirator for nine weeks, at least I don’t think it can be.

I’ve learned over the past year to be very grateful to God that I have life and that I know how to use it well from the holy Gospel. I’m grateful to the Church for all the friends and brothers and sisters that it gives me. I’m grateful to my family and my immediate friends for all the support they gave me. I’m very grateful to my community of brothers and sisters who stood by me in this terrible time. I’m grateful for so many people, friends and relatives. I’m grateful to you who have cared about me, prayed for me, and watched this little website to see how we’re all doing.

Let’s celebrate together. Let’s say a prayer.