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feverish frustrations

April 6, 2009

Yesterday was Palm/Passion Sunday – the beginning of the holiest of Holy weeks in the Catholic Church, and I spent the entire day in bed with a fever.  That was not how I wanted to start Holy Week, but I had no choice.

I wasn’t feeling good Saturday night, and the thermometer confirmed what my body was telling me.  I did what I could before going to bed: loading up on vitamins and home remedies.  I fell asleep convinced that I would be fine by morning.  My alarm woke me up for Mass, but I could barely lift my body to turn off the alarm.  I slowly started my morning routine, but it soon became clear that I couldn’t go anywhere.  My fever was now 100.8, which is rather high for someone whose normal body temperature is around 97.9, and my aching, tired muscles weren’t even moving at half speed.  It took me about twenty minutes to make a protein shake, a task that normally takes less than five.  I had to rest in the kitchen for a while before dragging myself back to bed.

Between naps, I forced myself to continue the vitamin and home remedy regimen.  I lay in bed, deeply disappointed that I wasn’t able to attend Palm/Passion Sunday Mass.  I read the readings and made a Spiritual Communion, but I desperately wanted to be there to experience Passion Sunday in every aspect: to see the palms waving in the air, to smell the incense moving through the church, to hear the congregation cry “Hosanna” at the beginning of Mass and shout “Crucify him!” during the Gospel.  I wanted to drink it in with all of my of my senses.  But instead of actively being present at Mass, I was forced into passivity.

In this, my own little passion, I was reminded of Fr. Henri Nouwen describing waiting as both active and passive.  Us waiting on God is active and God waiting on us is passive.  Passive waiting can be seen in Christ’s Passion, as He waits to be acted upon, as He waits for a response.  As frustrated as I was waiting for my fever to break, I knew it was nothing compared to Christ waiting to be handed over, knowing all that He would encounter.

And so began the holiest week of the year.  It was not what I accepted or desired, but in embracing the situation, I found freedom, truth and comfort.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Felipa Schwartz permalink
    April 7, 2009 9:11 am

    I’m glad your fever is gone and you are feeling somewhat better. Continue to get plenty of sleep. And keep doing the home remedies.

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