My dear sisters and brothers in Christ Jesus, after 49 years of living with a chronic illness I continue to scratch my head to the mystery of suffering. I was diagnosed with Proteus Syndrome. I learned that there are a little more than 100 documented cases in the entire world. This shocked me for I did not realize how rare this illness truly is. With this illness I try to take each day that I have been given and offer it to God as best as I can, for you see I have for the longest time wanted to be a monk. I know it is not possible for me to enter a monastery because of my need for continued medical assistence. However, this has not stopped me from wanting to serve God. This is why I founded the Hermits of St. Giles. I know that there are others like myself that want to serve God but cant in the so called normal fashion. Thats okay though because God accepts everyones desire to follow Him the best way they can. Pope John Paul II regarded the disabled and chronically ill in this way, “those who participate in Christ’s pain through their own suffering to have a special part in the infinite treasure of the world’s redemption and they can share this treasure with others. To the entent that man is threatened by sin, so heavy is that sin which today’s world has within itself. Even greater is the value of human suffering. Thus, the Church must look to the fruit of human suffering for the salvation of the world”. And again, “One of the fundamental objectives of this renewed and intensified pastoral action which cannot but involve all the ecclesiastical community is to consider the ill, disabled person who suffers, not simply as having a role of love and service in the Church, but as an active responsible member in the evangelization and salvation of the world”. I knew my daily suffering and struggles had some purpose, some meaning, and now I know that it truly does have meaning. Of course I do my best to eradicate suffering in my own life. I don’t look for suffering and at times I don’t want to carry my cross at all. But I know when I unite myself to Christ Jesus and His Cross I experience His grace flowing through me. I know you will experience His grace as well. Please pray for the Hermits of St. Giles that God will bless this ministry. Have a most blessed week.
Love and prayers,
Hermits of St. Giles
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