Thursday, November 18, 2010

The last few days: Illness, advent, Bible

Well, I've been sick for 7 days.  Friday will be the eighth, if the Lord tarries.  The physician has me taking many powerful drugs.  I think I am getting better then I think I am getting worse.  I have been sleeping much.  Worringly, I have missed a week of work.  I am a contractor so I don't get sick days.  This is really going to hurt financially.  Oh well.  Not much can be done about it.  I'm a sales man who can't say 5 words without having a coughing fit.  And oh, my ribs are so sore, and today I was dizzy.  The M.D. said that though I don't have pneumonia, my O2 level is low.  I guess that is why I am so tired.

I've tried to do Advent stuff with my boys but have been to sick.  We didn't even have the traditional crab dinner to mark the coincidence of the opening of the Northern California Crab Season with the first day of Advent.  However, we did get the boys' letters to St. Nicholas into the mail, and we've been talking about where to give our alms.

On the sixteenth, St. Matthew's Day, my wife gave me an Icon of St. Matthew and a CD of sermons on child rearing by Bishop Irenaius of Ekateringburg & Sibirsk.  I'll load the sermons onto the iPod and listen to them on the train to and from work next week. (See, I have faith I will be healed.)

I've been enjoying the Advent Challenge, but I get so excited I keep reading ahead.  Usually, I read the Bible according to lectionary (I didn't know our lectionary dates from the 400s, and perhaps, if St. Gregory is to be believed, the 100s, reaching its present form in the 600s, did you? Pretty neat!) and then read the homilies for the passages as given in The Bible and Holy Fathers for Orthodox.  I had almost forgotten how pleasureable it is to just sit down and read page after page after page of the Gospel.

There is another pleasure associated with this reading I'm doing.  I am reading from my mother's last Bible.  She had only owned it a few few years, but it was already filling up with her hand written notes when she fell asleep.  I came across this one when I was reading about Jesus rescuing the Gergessene demoniacs: "When Satan reminds us of our past, we should remind him of his future."  It is a beautiful thing to hear my mothers voice again.

I'm going to have to thank the priest who challenged me to rad the whole NT during Advent.  It is really wonderful.  Even though I am sick as a dog this is really turning out to be a good Advent.


Athanasia said...

Thank you for this encouragement Matt. The Lord is tarrying for me as well. Nerve pain is excruciating and lasting for more than a month. I had a brief period of relief but reinjured myself stupidly. Ah well...

Peace to you brother. Pray for me.

GretchenJoanna said...

Oh, my, what a week you have had, and today is your 8th day...I will pray that you are in fact on the mend and can go to work soon. In the meantime, it sounds like you have made good use of the time by getting all the blessing possible out of it. Last Advent I read the Psalter through twice with some women...I wonder if they are doing it again. It was SO wonderful.
I like your mother's voice.