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Days of Grace: Meditations and Practices for Living with Illness

by Mary C. Earle

Days of Grace: Meditations and Practices for Living with Illness
Publication date: 2009-08-01
Number of pages: 129
ISBN: 9780819223647
Using the metaphor of pilgrimage, this book invites readers to reflect on living with illness. The heart of the book is a collection of thirty meditations, followed by a reflection, a short prayer, and a suggested spiritual practice. The meditations voice the difficulties and the challenges of living with illness, and call the reader toward a deepening understanding, compassion and generosity. While the meditations intend to offer comfort, they are also written from the conviction that God invites us to grow even in these circumstances. When living with chronic, terminal, or progressive illness, discovering a way to pray can be quite a challenge. These thirty meditations provide a welcome means with practices inspired by the psalms.


Day One

“You will show me the path of life” —Ps. 16:11

If you are reading this meditation, in all probability you are learning to live with illness. Your illness may be

chronic or progressive or terminal. In any case, you are entering a school of experience for which our culture

offers little wisdom. You are seeking to find a way to live with the stresses and the discomforts of a body that is

somehow weakened. You are trying to live within new limitations. You are also coming face to face with the fact

of your own mortality.

The wisdom tradition of scripture tells us that this kind of experience, as harsh and painful as it may be, also

offers us the opportunity to come to terms with reality. We begin to remember that we are creatures. We begin

to recognize that our lives are fragile and that our bodies can suffer from many different maladies. We begin to

reorient and reframe our lives, within a new context — a context of difficult days and unexpected physical

disruption. And we may begin to ask deeper questions about meaning and about life, about death and about

eternity. When we ask those questions, we are beginning to take the first steps on a path of life. We are beginning to live at a deeper level, though it may not be the path we would have chosen.Mary C. Earle