My Lenten brain tumor,
Within Your Wounds, Hide Me
Within Your Wounds, Shelter Me
Dentro De Tus Llagas, Escóndeme
Intra Tua Vúlnera, Abscónde Me
This line to our beloved Anima Christi—Soul of Christ —Alma de Cristo (Prayer to our Redeemer) had always baffled me. What did it mean to hide in Jesus’ wounds? How was Jesus sheltering me in His Wounded Side? It didn’t make any sense.
While on retreat, our director showed us a painting of The Incredulity of Saint Thomas, by Caravaggio (John 20:24-29; Divine Mercy Sunday gospel). Sister Wendy Beckett writes: “After his death, Christ appeared to his disciples at a time when Thomas was missing from the group. Thomas, a man of doubts, refused to believe — after all, who does come back once they are dead? He demanded, by way of proof, that he actually put his finger into Christ’s wounds.”
As I lay in a hospital bed last month awaiting surgery to remove a benign brain tumor, the Lord revealed to me a clearer understanding of this prayer. I prayed to receive the grace to rest in the Wounded Side of Jesus, to be home, and protected, and safe. There to be silent, and warm, and comforted. Deep inside Jesus’ Wound is His Sacred Heart, the source of His immense love for us. I was sheltered there in my trial. “Keep me safe, O God; in You I take refuge” (Psalm 16:1). I encourage you to seek such intimacy with Jesus in your sufferings, temptations, and loneliness. In such closeness, we can better hear Christ’s promptings, receive His gifts, and accept His grace. Jesus will hide you in His Sacred Wounds, He loves you more than you can ask or imagine!
+ Bishop John B. Brungardt