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Daniel Nuzum's audioboos

Friday, February 22, 2013

Lent 2013 (2) Finding life and God in the midst of Illness

In this second week of Lent I invite you to think about the awesome reality that you are made in the image of God. Trying to fully comprehend this is beyond our imagination! When our body, mind or spirit is ill it can be very hard to feel any sense of the importance of who we are. Life can be a struggle, a strain. Continuing our theme of using our human body to reflect this Lent, even in the midst of illness think of something that makes you unique.

Dear Lord,
you have created me in your image: beautiful, loved, unique.
Even when my body, mind or spirit is frail through illness
help me to believe that even still, when I look in the mirror
I see you. Awesome!
Amen

This reflection is to accompany the spiritual space and Lenten Reflection at the Chapel of Christ the Healer, Cork University Hospital.

If you are in the chapel when you click on this page please feel free to add your prayer to the prayer card on the altar.

If you would like us to pray for you at our weekly eucharist on Sunday mornings at 09:15 please send an email to daniel.nuzum@hse.ie .
If you live in the locality of CUH you can listen in and join us for worship through hospital radio on CUH102FM

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The invitation to reflect on wellbeing and illness this Lent at the Chapel of Christ the Healer, Cork University Hospital has brought many prayers from patients, staff and visitors to be placed on the Altar for inclusion in our Sunday Eucharist. I am always struck by the openness and honesty of these heartfelt prayers to God. Each prayer is placed on the prayer board using a sticky note. It will be my privilege on Sunday to weave these prayers into our 09:15 Sunday corporate prayer in the Eucharist that is broadcast throughout the hospital and city by Hospital Radio CUH102FM. Where is God to be found in the midst of illness? Why do our bodies let us down? Is physical physique the marker of wellness such as that represented in the male torso that is our image this week? Surely we are more than this.
Prayers brought to the Altar
Loving God, 
who inhabited our human frame in the person of Jesus Christ
fill me with your holy and life giving spirit
that I may have inner peace, and health
that goes beyond my physical body when it aches or groans. Amen

Monday, February 18, 2013

Lent 2013: Finding life and God in the wilderness of illness...

This Lent the beautiful Chapel of Christ the Healer at Cork University Hospital is a space to reflect on the wilderness of illness. All too often we take our health for granted until a symptom or accident throws a stumbling block on our path.

Each week in Lent there will be a different focus and invitation to reflect on our health and wellbeing as a lenten discipline and an exploration of illness in a hospital context. A different image of the human body will feature week by week to provoke thoughts and reflection.

This first week the image is of a healthy male torso. A reminder that even though things can look well on the outside that this is not always the case. Visitors to the Chapel are invited to reflect on the things that distract you from what is really important in life. What can you let go of?

In addition, visitors are invited to write the names of those they would like to be included in the prayers at the Sunday eucharist on the prayer notice on the altar.

Dear Lord, 
as you entered the wilderness for 40 days, 
give me the strength to let go of the things that clutter up my life 
so that I can find true health and life. Amen

Saturday, February 16, 2013

The beauty of temptation

The seductive Venus Flytrap...
During Lent many Christians try to give up something in an effort to be deprived of some unessential habit or luxury. It is in part, linked with the ability to resist temptation. Throughout history temptation is portrayed as something wicked and nasty(perhaps that's too strong!).

However, the uncomfortable truth is that temptation by its very nature is beautiful and attractive. Temptation seduces us into its trap with the allure of flirtation with the goals of necessity, of fulfilment, of life. To see temptation as anything other than attractive is to miss the point and to fall into the trap of self-denial.

After all if temptation was not attractive we wouldn't be interested and life would be so much easier! Being sufficiently aware of the seductive beauty of temptation will in part give us the insight to know that it is flirting with us, dancing with us, stroking the 'arousable' areas of our life. Mastering temptation is to acknowledge it head-on and thereby to be in control of it and not it of us! So what are the temptations I need to acknowledge and master? A challenge this Lent.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Ash Wednesday: from Palm to palm...

A pilgrim at the Chapel of Christ the Healer,
Cork University Hospital sent me this today 
Ash Wednesday is always a moving experience in hospital. The words "remember you are dust and to dust you shall return" take on a whole new meaning in the midst of illness and frailty. They are words that are sobering at the best of times, but what about when each word flakes like an ash that is too powerfully real? "Remember you are dust..." strikes a deep chord when your physical body is tired and worn and struggling against the reality of illness. "Remember you are dust..." as the gritty grain of the ash is traced in cross-like strokes across a forehead or as in our Chapel sometimes on the palm. The grit of ash, of former glory from palm leaves that were waved in joy and expectation last Palm Sunday now reduced and traced on another palm that holds the lines and the story of our human lives. Glory and mortality, joy and pain, love and loss, fire and oil, palm leaves to ash. The palm that has grown from the earth now burnt, ground and traced into the palm of our human frame. Cradled almost eucharistically, the same palms that receive the broken body of our saviour in the eucharist also cradle the brokeness of our humanity traced across the lines of our life. As the ash sinks in it takes the form of our palm lines and leave their mark.

"Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return" is a sobering reminder that the physical, beautiful bodies that we struggle with, love with and inhabit will indeed return to dust as we are transformed to glory. So yes, Ash Wednesday is a good day.