Passiontide part 3

(This is the third part of a three-part reflection that Father Timothy Regan wrote, reflecting on the Holy Week experience through the lens of the hospital/health care experience. Father Regan serves as the Catholic chaplain/Spiritual Services with University of Iowa Health Care in Iowa City.)

Gardens
It is finished.
This earthly pilgrimage is ending.
All that remains is the final step;
a single step with two destinations.

My body will go no further.
All life, all breath, all ability
has been stripped away
and only the silent shell remains.
Honor it, in memory of me,
with your rituals and rites.
Bear me to the garden of rest
and allow me to return to my humble origins.

But my soul, my essence, my unique ME,
this has an other destination,
an other garden in which to enter.
An eternal garden.
This destination, too, is now beyond my control.
Yet I chose it through each step in my life
and cannot now undo
whatever has been done.
Whither goest I?
I pray — to Peace.

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Prayer of surrender and peace

God of strength and compassion
hear the prayer that arises from our hearts
as we join or lives with you Son
in His most sacred passion.

Be with us in the Garden of Gethsemane
as we acknowledge the suffering
within our bodies, our minds, our hearts
that is as yet hidden from others’ eyes.

Be with us at Gabbatha
the Judgement Seat
as we hear the reports
that spell out our future,
or even the loss thereof.

Be with us at Golgatha
as, in faith, we join
our suffering, our pain, to His.

Hear us as we surrender
our lives to your loving protection,
guidance, strength and peace.
It is into your hands, O Lord,
that we commend our spirits.
Hear us, O lord,
And have mercy.


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