Monday, March 29, 2010
The Agony in the Garden
I have been struggling with cancer for many years now. And the story I want to share with you began about six years ago after I had my third major operation for colon cancer.
It was after the third surgery, with my family gathered by my side to hear the news, that my doctors told me that they wanted to attack the cancer more aggressively by surgically implanting a stint inside of me so that I could take larger doses of chemo on a daily basis. I told the doctors that I did not want to subject myself to anymore of this torturous treatment and that my wife and I had purchased tickets to go on a pilgrimage to the Holy Lands. We were scheduled to leave in six months and we were going with a Carmelite order of priests. My oncologist informed me that I would be dead in six months if I did not submit to the treatment. I asked how much time I would have if I submitted to the treatments; he said I could probably add up to two years.
Six months later I found myself in the Garden of Gethsemane, possibly under the same olive trees that our Lord Jesus Christ knelt to ask his father to take this cup from him. We know that this was the cup of forgiveness of our sins and most importantly our salvation. Yet we know he said “Not my will be done but yours be done”.
As I knelt under these olive trees, I asked our Lord to take this cup (cancer) from me and if not, then please accept my pain and suffering in atonement for my sins and the suffering of others that may be so afflicted.
Some of these olive trees have lived well over 2000 years; and as I looked over the Valley of Kidron I could see the walls of Jerusalem where Jesus traveled to his agonizing torture and death on the cross for you and me.
Six years later I am here to thank God for this miraculous healing and to thank my fellow pilgrims, my family and friends that prayed for me constantly and the priest that gave me the Holy Sacrament of Healing of the Sick; I will feel forever indebted.
I pray to You to look upon all those who are seeking the Father's will now, for the sake of Your bitter agony. Help also those who have learnt the Father's will, but are too weak to accept it. May all the agony be redeemed through a renewed acceptance of the Father's will.1
Fr. Slavko Barbaric, O.F.M Pray with the Heart