Hope of Health
Re “Alfie’s Last Days,” by Kevin Clarke (6/25): I cannot imagine the heartbreak of these parents. I love the concept of hope of health mentioned in this article. It is a healing reframing. The question is not just, “Will the child die?” The question is also, “Is there a reasonable hope for health?” When the shoe is on the other foot, and it is time for me to die, I would not want to impoverish my children or husband financially, emotionally or physically by staying when there is no hope of health.
Mary Gail Frawley-O’Dea
Mystery of God
Re “The Gospel According to Goop,” by Eloise Blondiau (6/25): I am all for hard work and positive thinking. They have made a huge difference in making my life better. At the same time, God is the ultimate arbiter and judge, and I have discovered we just do not always understand his plan or will.
Last year, I was treated for breast cancer (I am fine now, thank God). I had done all the things to avoid the disease. I do not have a genetic predisposition for cancer, and it did not appear to run in my family, but I got it anyway. It happens, and it is all a mystery. So I ask for God’s help in my life, to be grateful, not to judge others too much (nobody knows what all of us go through anyway), do what I can at my end to stay on earth healthy and help others.
I enjoy my life and toys (especially my purse collection), but I know they are not the ultimate things that make me happy. And I know I will suffer again, but God will still be there, long after Goop and Mr. Osteen have left the scene.
Everyone wants to believe that there is a reason for everything that happens and that good prevails over evil. We know it does not always happen that way. Like every other idea, we can take things to their illogical extremes. Therapists often tell patients that the way you think can change the way you feel. That is true; what is also true is that you cannot change reality, and just changing the way you think about it does not really work.
A True Portrait
Re “A Flannery O’Connor Story for the World Today,” by Jim McDermott, S.J. (6/25): This is a brilliant commentary on Childish Gambino. When I first saw his music video “This is America,” I needed to take a step back, as I was not sure what images were reeling through my mind. I watched it a number of times, and each time it gained more power. I felt that it painted a true portrait of American society today.
A Terrifying Situation
Re “The Death Toll in Puerto Rico After Hurricane Maria Could Be 70 Times Higher Than Official Count,” by Michael J. O’Loughlin (6/25): I am caring for an elderly parent who is doing well as long as the life-sustaining medicine, access to emergency hospital care and, when needed, air conditioning remain available. If you took these things away for six months, it would be very scary.
How to Approach One Another
Re “A Good Call,” by Simcha Fisher (6/25): I can’t help wondering: In the age of “calling out,” what happened to Jesus’ teaching? Matthew 18:15 tells us how to approach another. I respect Cardinal O’Malley, but I wonder if he tried to speak with Pope Francis before taking his comments to the media.
Cultures Coming Together
Re “What the World Cup Can Teach Us About Everything,” by Antonio De Loera-Brust (6/11): Although I am not as strong a fan of the World Cup as the author, I do enjoy following the games, especially if Mexico (the country of my heritage) is playing.
However, a correction is in order. The “soccer war” the article refers to was between Honduras and El Salvador, not Guatemala. In addition, the conflict was actually the result of border disputes and tensions that long predated the 1969 soccer matches.
Despite conflicts like this, sports can be a way for different peoples and cultures to come together.