Yesterday I was called to the Intensive Care Unit at Kent and Canterbury Hospital to visit someone who had asked to see a priest. She was on a breathing machine and had difficulty speaking. After the anointing of the sick she wrote on her notepad, “By his stripes we are healed.”
I thought of her this morning as I prayed the Office of Readings for the Feast of St Bridget of Sweden (1303-1373). She is Patroness of Europe along with St Catherine of Sienna and St Teresa Benedicta (Edith Stein).
In that Office of Reading we have an extract from a prayer that she wrote, meditating on the passion of Jesus, death and Resurrection of Christ. In that prayer she wrote: “Blessed may you be, my Lord Jesus Christ. You redeemed our souls with your precious blood and most holy death and in your mercy you led them back from exile to eternal life.” We believe that the passion and death and Resurrection of Christ is the way of healing. It is through the death and resurrection of Jesus that we receive new life.
Perhaps we shouldn’t just meditate on the Passion and Death of Jesus during Lent but the passion narratives can be a great source of prayers throughout the year.