Surgery, rehabilitation seen as blessings - Catholic Courier
Matthew H. Clark Matthew H. Clark

Surgery, rehabilitation seen as blessings

I have not written for the Catholic Courier weekly since my knee-replacement surgery and subsequent rehabilitation program. I am truly happy to be with you again in this forum.

As we come to the end of the Christmas season, I am aware that the surgery and rehabilitation experience were blessings not only physically but spiritually. It wasn’t anything dramatic or completely obvious. Rather, the experience was a symbol and reminder of much of what we value about Christmas. It was a personal taste of vulnerability, of the need to depend on the care and guidance of others, of the reality that good things like recovery don’t happen all at once, of the fact that the pursuit of good things often entails hard work and, sometimes, considerable discomfort.

All of the above are significant parts of common human experience. We all can identify moments or periods of our lives when we have had to travel roads that were not as smooth or as straight as we might have wished them to have been.

The light of Christmas for me has been a renewed realization that the harder moments of our respective journeys are, no less than the joyful ones, invitations and opportunities to come closer to the Lord — the one whose human experience began in circumstances that made him vulnerable and dependent, and that hinted that the road ahead would likely be winding and bumpy.

I appreciate that the Christmas season offers us a reminder not only of our vulnerability but of our dignity. The gift who is the Christ intends us to cherish our humanity and to have a profound sense of God’s compassionate love for each one of us.

I hope that you have had a blessed and peaceful Christmas season. But if it has been touched with suffering or loss, I hope that that reality will not turn you to discouragement or sadness. Rather, I hope that it will turn you to the experience of the Lord from crib to cross. His gift to us is not a carefree human existence. His gift to us is the grace to love and serve as he did through it all.

I do wish to thank you once again for your prayers and good wishes for the success of my knee-replacement surgery. Your gifts and the skill and care of the doctors, nurses and therapists who saw me through the experience were gifts for which I shall always be grateful.

While I won’t win (or enter!) any races in the future, I am happy to report that my new knee is operating much better than my old one did in recent years. Therapy continues which gives me hope that things will get even better.

Thanks again for your prayers. My own are with you always.

Peace to all.

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