Posted by on Sep 19, 2011 in Photographs, Sacred Rituals | 0 comments

In the stillness of the hospital ward, I waited for the daily ritual to begin. Beds lined up neatly in single file, some empty, others full, looked like coffins in a funeral parlor.

The dreary room was adorned with colorful photos of playful youngsters and loving family. The pictures were whole in body and spirit. The still man wasn’t. The only sound . . . a murmuring of vital signs.

This injured warrior’s duty was to get well through countless surgeries, medicine, and an unforeseen miracle, my job to bring a holy sacrament, a loving act, and hope.

Yesterday, I placed a St. Jude’s prayer card under his new Purple Heart Medal but kept the precious Eucharist with me for there was no response. My hands trembled, my heart stirred to sorrow for the young man burnt from head to toe.

Today, I took a seat next to this warrior and watched. As daylight’s hope entered the room, the wounded man opened his mouth to receive his Eucharist. I felt as though a chorus of angels joined hands, forming a circle around us. He quietly consumed the remembrance. Some call this loving act symbolic, a religious metaphor repeated so many times. Others call it a full and open heart embracing a special kind of love.

I returned the next day, anxious to share with the wounded man, but the bed was now empty and cleared. That day I learned life’s lesson in hope. Without a word, without a glance, a soul had touched me forever in the daily ritual of Christ’s remembrance.

 ~Myles Saulibio

As I slipped into the old parish church on Christmas Eve just before evening services started, my thoughts were focused on the pastor who served here. I hadn’t seen him in almost forty years. This man and his family had touched my life so much when I was younger. My mission now . . . to touch his life in return, to thank him for setting me on the right path when I was young.

Though we’d both grown older, the passion in his voice as he preached reminded me of days gone by, of watching him stand straight and tall, exalting the Lord from the pulpit. Goosebumps skittered down my spine as I listened to him.

And then came time for the Eucherist. I watched as he called up each family there for evening services up to the pulpit to deliver the Eucherist. The care and love he exhibited as he laid his hands upon them and prayed for each one reminded me of why I had cared so deeply for him as a child. His words reminded me anew how we come together to celebrate the life of Jesus who came to Earth, lived and died, then rose again.

When my turn came, I walked to the pulpit on unsteady legs. Would he even remember me?

He reached out his hands to grasp my shoulders. “I know you, don’t I?” The joy in my heart knew no bounds that day. He served the Eucherist to me and the well-remembered ritual brought me back to earth with a sense of peace I’d forgotten for a long time.

 ~J.K. Ingersoll

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