“That together we will never lose the joy of living and of knowing ourselves as pampered children of the Blessed Mother and of the Lord.”

These are the words of a dying priest – a Chilean Schoenstatt Father, Padre Horacio Rivas, diagnosed with stomach cancer that’s metastasized and is incurable. In a letter written after the diagnosis, he presented his family, friends, and congregation with this proposition, one among four. All of them demonstrated his courage and devotion to our Lord and Blessed Mother. This one, however, really caught my eye – and heart.

Pampered? Fr. Rivas’ stomach will be able to receive increasingly less nourishment as the disease progresses. How comfortable can that be? And yet he can live in the joy of knowing he has placed himself unreservedly into the hands of our loving Mother. He can say “pampered” because he knows that everything from the hand of God, everything through the intercession of our Mother Mary, is for our good – even extreme suffering. Thus, we’re pampered because we are cared for to the utmost every minute of every day. He can be at peace knowing God’s will is always perfect. Many of us have a hard time doing that in a traffic jam, much less in the face of a devastating cancer!

Perhaps the words of this holy, dying priest can inspire us today to do some act – albeit a small one – of self-mortification or to endure something difficult with joy, offering it to the heavenly Father in petition for those souls who suffer here on earth and in purgatory.

Here’s the link for the story if you want to read more:


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