Friar Don Miller. OFM
I am a Franciscan priest. I spent my early years of ministry in New Mexico working among the Pueblo Native Americans and the Hispanics. In 1978 I began my years in academics working as a chaplain, faculty member, and administrator at various universities in the southwest and the midwest. I taught various course in theology, especially in my area of specialty which is moral theology. I have been the Vocation Director for the Province of Saint John the Baptist since 2003.
 
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Brother Richard on his CPE Experience

 

BlogrichardpicCPE

CPE midterms: Two friars called me this week to check up on me and how my Clinical Pastoral Education program was going. And thanks to those two brothers I have taken time to think about it. The trouble with life sometimes is that we neglect to follow Socrates' insight: Indeed, the unexamined life is not worth living!

 

Fruit of my examination: I have met Sister Death in the rooms of St. Joseph Hospital over a dozen times in my four short weeks as a Chaplain Intern. I have watched her with my own eyes and entered the room as her job was complete. When Francis of Assisi coined the term "Sister Death", he had a powerful insight that thunders through the ages. Death as a sister is to say that death is as much a part of living as having a sibling. Funny how that differs from the modern notion to avoid, escape, and fear death at all costs!  

 

My growing acquaintance with so called Sister Death is as a witness, not a participant, in the grand final dance of death. During these past days I have come to a new understanding of how to adjust to her arrival and how to be calm and aware while in her presence. Strange as it may sound I have become alert to the powerful sacred quality of her duty.

 

Let it also be stated that I am but a novice at processing death. I struggle to find how to cope with attending three deaths in one evening shift. I balk at the emotional overload that such an evening carries. There is reason that I am yet just a Chaplain Intern. And in moments of clarity I have concluded that I will never fully understand Sister Death. My conclusion: Her mysteriousness withstands my grasping.


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