Day: December 14, 2021

A Chaplain’s Perspective Essay IV: The Journey Continues

The most difficult visits for me occur in Labor and Delivery and the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of the hospital. These visits drain me emotionally and I am continually amazed by the heroic teams of professionals called to work in these units day after day. Labor and Delivery and the Neonatal units are for the most part the happiest areas of the hospital full of new lives, but at other times, they are the saddest units in the hospital. The sadness and intense grief seem to fill the hallways and enter the hearts of all associated with the death of a baby.

Meditation and Prayer: Awaiting the Nativity offered by Terence Aditon

As the days advance to the arrival of any baby, there is both joy and trepidation, a new blessed being, emerging from labor, and love. So with Advent, awaiting the Birth that marks another beginning for the world.

It is mortal pain that brings forth the Christ child from Mary’s body. His mortal life begun as any babe’s, wrenched away from the warm ocean of the womb to the cold air of earthly life. The Child lifted from the Mother, a sign that this most precious Life will end in being lifted on the Cross, and lifting us up, with Him, to the hope of heaven.

Receiving Joy with Open Hands

“On those Chicago days when I worked as a chaplain in a hospital the small bites of chocolate were a balm to my soul. I did nothing to merit the candy, except to walk through their doors and open my hands. After leaving the hospital some days I carried the weight of an unexpected diagnosis, the loss of a loved one, or the uncertainty of how the days would unfold.”

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