Another great example of God’s patience
I want to send this incident because I have found so many people who “give up” and turn to worldly things to help them cope with what appears to them to be a disaster.
This is a true story of an event that took place when I was in Tijuana, BC.
The Missionaries of Charity used to visit the hospitals, especially on Sunday afternoon. There are two kinds of government funded hospitals: For the middleclass — not bad hospitals; and for the really poor. These latter are miserable. The staff does its best but the workers are so poor they steal everything they can carry off so that the patients are left sleeping on bare mattresses or springs.
Anyway, one Sunday the sisters called me and said that they had found someone who needed the sacraments.
I went and found a man of about forty five years of age who was dying of tuberculosis of the spinal cord. He was almost immobile and could only lift his hands and eat. The staff was really very kind and tried to make him as comfortable as possible.
Since he has long ago passed to his reward I can tell you about him without betraying the seal of confession.
He had been born in Mexico City to a very poor family. He had been baptized but never made his first communion. In order to help support the family, when he was 12 years old, he started working in the harvests north of Mexico city. He had never returned home or seen his family. He kept working from harvest to harvest through Northern Mexico, up in Texas, over to California — as so many harvest workers do. Whatever he could spare he would send home.
Now, he wound up in the Government Hospital in Tijuana, dying. He could not read. He never learned his prayers. I had to instruct him in the Sacraments of the Church . He never went to Mass. All he did was work and send his money home. He told me that he had one thing: a devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe. The said that wherever he was he always went to Mass on her Feast –12 December.
I gave him the last sacraments. The next day I brought him first Communion. A few days later he died.
Please consider this –This man had nothing going for him. Never received the Sacraments that are so available to us. Did not even know the formal prayers of the Our Father and Hail Mary in Spanish. His faults were very human but really spent his life trying to do what he thought God wanted him to do. No complaints.
But he did have one thing: he loved Our Lady of Guadalupe.
I want you to notice that She accepted his humble homage and arranged for a priest to come to his side to prepare him for death. Our Lady welcomed him into the heaven.
Lesson: NEVER GIVE UP — Our Lady loves each of us and will do everything to bring us to Her Son. Have confidence.