We are now in the home stretch of Great Lent. At the end of this week we have Lazarus Saturday, followed by Palm Sunday and then we are plunged into the quiet and sanctity of Holy Week. It is time to really start putting off the everyday and preparing ourselves for the balance of the Lenten journey which is somber and sober.
So we are now left with the final two Acts of Mercy. This week it is to visit the sick, pretty self explanatory, but not easy.
Visiting the sick can be daunting. Many times we don't know what to say, or we are uncomfortable with hospitals and nursing centers. Not to be crass, but those places can really smell awful, and there can be people with dementia crying out making it an "unpleasant" experience. These people are us though. They too worked hard, raised children, buried their parents, defended our nation, and dealt with all the other harshness that is inherent with life on this planet ...and now they are sick and sometimes alone, with their lives seemingly to have meant nothing because now they are no longer "useful". Oh what a horrid thing to say! May God help the society that adopts this type of ideology.
Again, this is no easy task, especially since we live in a culture that likes to keep things sanitary and pleasant. Try to find a way though. I'm sure if you called a local nursing home and asked if they needed volunteers for bingo night or someone to play the piano during dinner hours, they would find a place for you. If you can't do that, send a card to someone, make phone calls on a regular basis, or drop by for even 10 minutes with some cookies or whatever. I'm telling you from experience, that even the slightest of acknowledgments can make a difference.