Sunday, December 1, 2013

the answer isn't 42

this was the scripture reflections for the cmg mass reccently:

some quotes.... ok actually i ended up copying and pasting nearly the whole thing.
this is awesomeness. please read.

"Firstly, the temptation to material rewards and fame. In a society that is as affluent as ours, there is a real and subtle tendency to succumb to the lure of material rewards, money and fame. However the first reading tells us that God “shows no respect of personages to the detriment of a poor man, he listens to the plea of the injured party. He does not ignore the orphan’s supplication, nor the widow as she pours out her story.” Hence, being God’s Healing Ministers, physicians are to care especially for the poor and not only those who can afford medical treatment. In tandem, neither should medical service or research be undertaken for the purpose of fame and recognition.

Thirdly, there is de-humanization of the role of doctors. Medicine is seen as a business enterprise rather than a relationship of care, since it has to do with payment and compensation. Physicians are seen as “suppliers and contractors” and patients as “clients”. In addition, healing has taken on a new cloak of fiercely publicized “immortality” with an unhealthy emphasis on aesthetic medicine. Medicine is no longer primarily practiced to promote life but to pander to vanity. In order to stay relevant or attractive, doctors are pressurized to be competitive and to go along with the change and demands of society.

With the above challenges in the changing face of medicine, how then can Catholic doctors be faithful to the Hippocratic Oath, and most of all to God who has chosen and entrusted them with this Ministry of Healing – to mediate His love, compassion and most of all to uphold and protect the sanctity of life?Jesus told His townsfolk at Nazareth, “You will surely say unto me this proverb, ‘Physician, heal thyself’’ whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in thy country.” So before we can heal others, we need to heal ourselves as medical professionals. What does this entail?
Firstly, we need to grow in the humility of the tax collector. We need to be on guard when we become proud of ourselves and our achievements like the Pharisees. Instead of becoming arrogant with our knowledge and skills, we need to recognize that we are merely stewards. When we know our place in creation, we become aware of our nothingness, and are grateful to God for the gifts that He has blessed us with. Let us not forget that the motto of medicine is “Not pride of knowledge but humility of wisdom!”
Secondly, Catholic doctors must strengthen their faith, both in their personal relationship with God and educate themselves with regard to the doctrines and moral teachings of the Church. A regular prayer-life is most important as you are faced with many demands and decisions concerning life and treatment options, which require both strength and discernment, which can be imparted to you by the Holy Spirit in prayer.
Thirdly, it is a timely reminder therefore, that a good doctor is more than someone with professional knowledge, skills and armed with the latest evidence-based medicine. Science cannot replace the human person. A good doctor is truly good when besides his skills, he has a heart of compassion and empathy for his patients and is able to allay the fears and their anxieties. Perhaps, this is one of the greatest challenges facing the Catholic physician today with the fragmentation of health care and erosion of the doctor-patient relationship. The human person is made up not only of body but also of mind and spirit. Doctors are called to care holistically, not just for the body but for the whole person. Hence, Catholic doctors must look to Jesus in ministering to the sick, praying for the gift of love and compassion, which is the essence of the Heart of the Good Shepherd. For the first reading reminds us that God is compassionate, especially to the poor and broken-hearted. “The just call and the Lord hears and rescues them in all their distress. The poor man called; the Lord has heard him. The Lord is close to the broken-hearted; those whose spirit is crushed he will save. The Lord ransoms the souls of his servants. Those who hide in him shall not be condemned.”

“Thank you, Lord, for the trials that come my way. In that way I can grow each day as I let you lead,
And thank you, Lord, for the patience those trials bring. In that process of growing, I can learn to care.
I thank you, Lord, with each trial I feel inside, that you’re there to help, lead and guide me away from wrong.
‘Cause you promised, Lord, that with every testing, that your way of escaping is easier to bear.
I thank you, Lord, for the victory that growing brings.
In surrender of everything life is so worth while.
And I thank you, Lord, that when everything’s put in place, out in front I can see your face, and it’s there you belong.”
source: cmg blog

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