Monday, December 15, 2014

Monday, December 15, 2014

Psalm 41, 52 

Isaiah 8:16,–9.1 2 
Peter 1:1–11 
Luke 22:39–53

“I trust in the steadfast love of God for every and ever . . . . I will proclaim your name for it is good.” Ps 52: 8- 9

As I write this reflection, I am sitting in Scarborough Hospital at the bedside of Br. Dunstan, SSF, a Franciscan from Little Portion Friary on Long Island, N.Y. Br. Dunstan, age 92, had come to St. John’s Convent for ten days of holiday. He had been thoroughly enjoying the peacefulness of the convent and the delicious food, but something he had eaten for supper two days ago had badly upset his fragile digestive system. Yesterday afternoon I had accompanied him to Emergency. Throughout the past 28 hours, Br. Dunstan has never lost his inner joy or sense of humour in spite of extreme pain, dehydration and long waits. When he wasn’t keeping us chuckling at his jokes, he was sharing his faith and telling me about his guardian angel, Duniel. I asked him when he first became aware of Duniel. He described a terrifying incident from his time as a pilot. The plane he was flying stalled and suddenly went into a downward spin. He thought the end had come. Then
Brother Dustan bidding farewell to Sr. EA
Dunstan clearly heard the words: “You know how to spin!” Dunstan suddenly remembered the training he had had as a cadet. He had learned many manoeuvres, including how to spin left, how to spin right, how to go into a dive from a spin and how, ever so slowly and carefully, to pull the plane out of a dive by finding a straight road or railway line below and flying parallel to it. Duniel had enabled him to deal calmly in a paralyzing situation. When the plane landed safely, the crew leaped out and kissed the ground in gratitude for their lives. Br. Dunstan had trusted in the steadfast love of God.

 – Sr. Elizabeth Rolfe Thomas, SSJD

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