By: Judith Terrameo OSF
As I reflect on this phrase from the Prayer of St. Francis, I am aware of how true it is.
I was bemoaning the fact that I had to work on Christmas day. I was up late Christmas Eve due to Christmas Eve Mass and time with the family.
Actually, I was feeling a little sorry for myself as everyone I know had Christmas day off. I decided to bring my guitar to the hospital with me in case I got bored. I thought I could cheer up the patients by singing some Christmas carols for them.
When I arrived to the hospital at 7:45 a.m., I looked at the hospital census on this Christmas morning and the census was really low.
I decided that I would start visiting patients on the 6th floor and work my way down through all of the other floors- 5, 3, 2 and ICU.
As I continued with my visits, I began to realize what a gift I was being given in the visits that I made on this Christmas day. Because of the low census I was able to spend more time in my visits with the patients. Some of the patients had family members in the rooms with them, but their were some patients who had no visitors. The visits were light, but profound, as patients/families shared wonderful stories of Christmas’s past, and love of family.
I arrived at the hospital at 7:45 a.m., and before I knew it it was 4:00pm- time to depart the hospital. I never did take the guitar out of its case; nor was there a boring moment. As I departed the hospital on this Christmas day, my heart was full of gratitude and joy. It turned out to be a beautiful Christmas in which I discovered that “it is in giving that we receive.”