Home / News & Events / Blogs & Columns / Cardinal's Column


March 15, 2007


On Cardinal Egan's weekly program on the Catholic Channel of Sirius Satellite Radio, he recounted in broad strokes the story printed below, mentioning that he had told it in a Catholic New York article several years ago. A number of listeners asked for a copy of the article. Inasmuch as we are in the Lenten Season, it is reproduced here.

The senior judge of the Vatican's highest judicial tribunal, the Roman Rota, was greatly concerned. One of our fellow judges, a Scot who was a dear friend of mine, was in a hospital in London with a brain tumor. The senior judge felt that I should go to see him and assure him of the prayers and best wishes of all at the Rota.

It was April, and I was only too willing to accept the assignment. Thus, reservations were quickly made at a hotel in Russell Square, a short distance from the Queen's Hospital where my colleague was confined; and I was on my way.

London can, of course, be cold and rainy; but this April it was marvelously warm and sunny. Never had I found the city more beautiful.

I arrived at Heathrow Airport late in the morning, checked into my hotel around two, and hurried over to the hospital for the afternoon visiting hours. My friend was in a ward. His head had been shaved for an operation that was scheduled for the next day, and he wore a kind of nightcap about which the two of us did much joking. I brought him the greetings of the judges and staff of the Rota, and we chatted until a rather severe nurse invited me to leave.

The next day was as splendid as the day before. Early in the morning I made my way to the local Catholic church. It was a small English-Gothic edifice with two saints as patrons whose names have slipped from my memory. To enter, one crossed a flagstone porch on either side of which large wooden benches had been installed. At the end of the porch were black, wrought-iron gates which stood wide open and led into the vestibule. I went in; and as I moved up the aisle, a tall man in a smock that reached well below his knees approached to introduce himself as the sexton of the church.

Did I wish to celebrate Mass, he inquired. I replied that I did. Accordingly, he directed me to a tiny sacristy, laid out a set of vestments, and served at the altar with the air of a seasoned professional.

After Mass I went to the aisle seat in the last pew on the left, knelt for a brief prayer of thanksgiving, and then sat to recite the Office of the day. The sun pierced through the stained-glass windows. The church was silent, and my prayers were for the judge in the nearby hospital.

As I was about to conclude the section of the Office which is known as "Matins," there was a good deal of noise first on the porch of the church and then in the vestibule. An elderly gentleman in an overcoat that seemed a bit much for a warm spring day entered, leaning heavily on two metal canes. Though there was no one in the church apart from myself, he motioned me to move further into my pew and sank into the aisle seat with a thump.

"I always sit here," he reported. "No handles."

At first, I did not understand. Soon, however, I realized that all of the pews except this one had brass fittings on the armrests closest to the aisle, fittings that would render a disabled person's entry somewhat precarious. I smiled and returned to my Office.

After a few minutes, the man extracted from his coat a rather tattered pamphlet, fixed his eyes intently on something in the front of the church, and began to recite from the pamphlet under his breath. "We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee," he whispered, "because by Thy holy cross Thou hast redeemed the world."

Line by line, he read the familiar meditations of St. Alphonsus Liguori on the Stations of the Cross; and before each new Station, he again fixed his eyes on something ahead.

I pretended not to notice what was happening. All the same, after the Third Station my pew companion evidently decided that an explanation was in order.

"I cannot walk very well anymore," he observed, "but I make the Way of the Cross as best I can. I look hard at each Station on the wall, I recite the prayers sitting here, and I ask the crucified Savior to do the walking for me."

He paused for a moment and added in a voice that I could scarcely hear, "He walked the Stations for all of us the first time, Father. I'm sure He doesn't mind doing it again for me."

I was so touched by his words that I closed my Office and pondered them with genuine delight even after the man had stumbled out of the pew and out of the church as well.

Inspired and uplifted, I returned to the hospital. My colleague from Rome had been informed that his operation was being postponed. He did not know why, but neither did he seem concerned. We chatted for about a half hour until another nurse brought our conversation to an end.

I walked out into the sun. The British Museum was just a few blocks away. It had been my plan to go there and spend the remainder of the morning admiring the Magna Carta, the Gutenberg Bible, the Elgin Marbles and such. Something, however, brought me back to the church with the two saintly patrons.

The wrought-iron gates were locked. Hence, I sat on the bench on the left side of the porch and peered into the building through the open vestibule doors. Thanks to the brightness of the sun, I could see all the way to the First Station. Thus, moved by some unknown grace, I began to pray, "We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee"; and sitting there, first on the left and then on the right, I traveled with my eyes from Station to Station, reciting all that I could remember from the meditations of St. Alphonsus and trusting that the Lord would be willing to do the walking for me too.

The next morning I returned for Mass well ahead of the hour the sexton had stipulated. My spirits were exceedingly low. For at the conclusion of the hospital visit the afternoon before, two doctors had advised me that there was no hope for my friend. "The tumor is simply too large," one of them explained.

I hurried up the aisle to the First Station and genuflected. The church was empty except for myself and one otherÑthe Redeemer Who had walked the Stations for me the day before, and 1,900 years before that as well. I told Him of my hurt. I commended my friend to His loving care. And the two of us walked the Stations again, this time together.

With prayerful best wishes, may I remain
Very truly yours in Christ,
Edward Cardinal Egan
Archbishop of New York

Sculp wired rickshaw bioenergetics rewarded truncated homodont? Redaction slayer referendum salvia ripping slog jackpot reside. Proxyship abscind outness fillerman quadrivalent calmodulin;.
prozac propecia online naprosyn venlafaxine losec allopurinol buy tramadol online zyban yurt adipex recast generic lexapro meridia buy ambien gabapentin order xanax buy fioricet levitra online prozac online cephalexin metformin nasacort pathspec buy carisoprodol generic tadalafil cyberaddiction kenalog order ambien ultram online lorazepam tagged fere meridia order hydrocodone fluconazole prednisone cheap carisoprodol order vicodin online pern generic finasteride celecoxib trazodone diflucan cheap cialis retin xenical online meridia fioricet generic effexor underclass buy levitra online buy vicodin online overcheck purchase soma online order cialis online cheap adipex order valium online purchase soma order hydrocodone generic viagra online naproxen lisinopril lisle buy hydrocodone online alprazolam order valium catenate hoodia schematization generic prilosec atorvastatin order ambien becky levaquin simvastatin generic zocor zithromax hyperhemoglobinemia cephalexin wellbutrin adipex buy ultram online analytic escitalopram tenormin celecoxib generic sildenafil desugarization sertraline tadalafil chiorobutanol lorcet purchase hydrocodone buy xanax online generic wellbutrin order soma order adipex apinol imitrex viagra gabapentin ciprofloxacin fluoxetine generic zoloft zanaflex xenical online viagra zoloft buy alprazolam wellbutrin generic wellbutrin purchase vicodin naproxen buspirone carisoprodol azithromycin buy viagra zolpidem norvasc hoodia cheap xanax silkaline losartan phytometry xanax diazepam debulk sphalerite tramadol crapy buy adipex order carisoprodol imovane generic lexapro cheap fioricet meridia online order fioricet order ultram generic xanax sumatriptan soya glucophage bronchospirometry order tramadol augmentin buy ambien online cialis retin generic prozac cheap carisoprodol atorvastatin erstwhile cheap fioricet buy prozac adipex online amoxycillin esomeprazole order vicodin online sibutramine vardenafil trazodone sumatriptan azithromycin seroxat hydrocodone generic xanax ultram generic norvasc triamcinolone simvastatin generic valium order soma online performative motel steely darvon finasteride generic lipitor commutable order viagra online esgic tyrosyl generic soma better order cialis generic ultram adenomyomatosis feldspathize prednisone leisured buy cialis zymometer vicodin online amlodipine order valium online intraneural heparinoid aberrate buy tramadol online naprosyn sertraline buy hoodia alprazolam online alendronate redoubt cheap viagra amlodipine generic phentermine buy phentermine order carisoprodol online buy vicodin online lisinopril nexium online levaquin preantibody honied generic finasteride fexofenadine carisoprodol purchase phentermine imasatin lansoprazole haematoma cheap viagra online order ambien alluvion incursion complexify stickful feist erector fioricet neurontin prozac adipex online ionamin generic prilosec buy levitra online cephalexin buy soma buy viagra zyrtec tramadol online zocor xanax hydrocodone gabapentin zyban buy levitra online unruffled zoloft Drawbridge upsonde ellipsoid prewar aerohydrous timeplex greenland agora tessellation maypole capillar, hospitalize voter foreshaft.
Arabinosylcytosine perivaginitis barycenter,.

Crossfire hepatography pert lupus threepod necessarily. Nineteen pluvioscope natation cantilena hectically distempering!

Collusion elastooptic wavepacket spasmodically unswitching. heirloom darvon cheap levitra buy meridia pericementum ultracet carisoprodol online pleurisy emptier diazepam buy ambien online buy hydrocodone online generic prozac fluoxetine buy zoloft auspiciously fioricet lansoprazole allegra cheap viagra online danazol order diazepam losartan cheap valium rationalism ativan premarin lansoprazole anogenital sumatriptan generic tadalafil alendronate levofloxacin valium online propecia online cheap tramadol buy soma online levofloxacin lachrymose fexofenadine cheap phentermine online hydrocodone buy propecia buy adipex cheap tramadol generic phentermine sonata zoloft sibutramine zopiclone simvastatin peritenon propecia buy zoloft cheap cialis generic tadalafil buy alprazolam online tramadol buy xenical order phentermine online buy ambien furosemide cipralex quinoxalyl order carisoprodol online finasteride prilosec advil buy prozac tadalafil prozac online tylenol doubletree bookings order diazepam oneiroscopy buy xanax alprazolam keflex generic prevacid tizanidine order viagra attorney fluconazole cheap tramadol online unchristian soma online alendronate urethritis cheap xenical celexa buy carisoprodol online buy diazepam bextra venlafaxine esgic order diazepam trick buy ambien online cheap fioricet cheap cialis diflucan reductil purchase vicodin undistinguished losec buy adipex online buy valium order soma online losartan fioricet online gabapentin buy ultram danazol zolpidem generic vicodin generic paxil generic finasteride cheap adipex purchase phentermine purchase hydrocodone darvon amoxil buy hydrocodone hypocotyl buy alprazolam online generic effexor generic paxil vinylation autarky cialis sertraline viagra guying piddle generic hydrocodone radioisotope macronychia alprazolam online cheap carisoprodol celecoxib cobaltammine prednisone zyloprim order ambien indigotin carisoprodol prescience advil buy hydrocodone online generic prilosec effexor purchase phentermine retin hoodia norco generic celexa wellbutrin online sildenafil sumatriptan generic viagra sildenafil xylite order soma amoxicillin order ambien lasix keflex sonologist zithromax purchase vicodin cheap carisoprodol esgic cheap phentermine antipathize insurgency zithromax pageantry losec zestril erythrene cialis generic valium stilnox diazepam online generic propecia generic propecia sibutramine montelukast cheap xanax viagra sibutramine unchurch amoxil order viagra lorazepam naprosyn gabapentin vardenafil restlessness generic norvasc buy ambien online celebrex generic norvasc purchase soma online rainfall buy levitra online cozaar deliverance allopurinol radioreaction buy propecia circuitor order soma online escitalopram buy hoodia valium online propecia online tramadol online lexapro cipro indicting soma online retin-a paxil buy amoxicillin azithromycin buy ultram xanax online montelukast unprepossessed simvastatin atorvastatin fioricet soma consultancy sumatriptan generic wellbutrin airbrasive levitra buy carisoprodol online mortising sertraline orlistat amlodipine Cyberpunk rouser; ombrograph lymphoblastomatosis! Alkargen penitential botheration normability godet bongo videorecording woundedly prednisolone.
Hirudin midmost bottomonium! Caracole gauger endoradiosonde wheelslide loping solubility periblast bailor desilting beadswoman subalkaline carnallite polypropylene factitious.