“In Sickness and in health,”as seen in a powerful cartoon.

012414-pope-1The video below has a scary side to it. Although it is a cartoon, I do not recommended for the youngest children, simply because it is scary. But its message is an important one on several different levels

First, its title “In sickness…” is a reminder of one of the aspects of the marital vow, namely, that the spouses will remain true and faithful to each other “in sickness and in health.” The video shows the power of faithful and abiding love to bring healing, consolation, and peace in some of life’s darkest hours. The opening darkness and delirium of the sick man gives way quickly when his wife embraces him in love.  The confident conclusion of the medical doctor (who in the dream is not able to stave off the attack) is based firmly on the fact that the man is in the care and embrace of his loving wife. All is well. Love conquers even death.

But of course, physical illnesses are not the only struggles endured in life and hence the man’s fears and dreams may also be seen as a metaphor for the Scripture which says  the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith (1 Peter 5:8-9)  And of course one of the most central aspects of faith is that we should love one another, and help each other through life struggles.  When one is weak, the other is strong, and Woe to the solitary man; if he falls he has no one to help him up (Eccles 4:10). Love and understanding,  provide a sure support in getting through the dark moments of life.

Perhaps finally, woman in the story extending love can also be seen Mother Church showing love, prayerfully embracing us in our struggles, both in sickness in darkness.

Enjoy the video. As I say, the opening section is scary but light comes!

6 Replies to ““In Sickness and in health,”as seen in a powerful cartoon.”

  1. Dear Monsignor!
    This ‘dream’ reminds me SO much of the reality of my marriage and my husband’s death. The marital vow of “in sickness and in health” was how I looked at my husband’s alcoholism. Archbishop Fulton Sheen speaks of this where he equates leaving an alcoholic as leaving a wounded soldier on the battlefield. But – by writing this, I do NOT mean to imply that all situations are the same. My husband was NEVER physically abusive. Every person’s situation is different and should be submitted to the Church (your pastor) for recommendations! I do not mean to make judgments toward anyone here!!
    I used to tell my husband, “You are helping me to get to heaven.” And he knew what this meant – that whatever was the irritation or conflict at the time, I was “offering it up” for the sake of our marriage and for my sins and for his. I learned this very early in life, with great thanks to my mother.
    I have posted in past blogs about how my husband went through the DTs (Delirium Tremens) – caused by abrupt withdrawal after MANY years of extreme alcohol consumption (this is the ‘sickness’ as I saw it). I remember apologizing for his behavior so many times, and in the ER and the nurse replied, “I am quite sure that your husband does not intend to be this way.” This gave me great comfort.
    He was declared brain dead in 2 lobes of his brain from the seizures that he suffered as a result of this. But, after the Anointing of the Sick, he recovered to the point where there was absolutely NO evidence of brain damage. Deo Gratias! But the pancreatic cancer continued to the point where it was inoperable, causing death after <2 months.
    I humbly pray and sense that, in union with the sacraments and graces of Holy Mother Church, I was privileged to be able to assist as the OTHER “woman in the story extending love … (but primarily it was) Holy Mother Church showing love, prayerfully embracing us in our struggles, both in sickness in darkness”.
    The long-tailed dark creatures reminded me of the demons (fallen angels) who attempt to destroy, or weaken us, as they do every single day. I also saw the white, sword-bearing entity as being our Guardian Angel who defends us against the powers of darkness.
    Just as there are 9 choirs of (good) angels: Angels, Archangels, Thrones, Dominations, Principalities, Powers, heavenly Virtues, Cherubim and Seraphim; the fallen angels, (the demons) have the same corresponding levels of hierarchy, because one third of the angels fell from heaven – but they retained their levels of power – in hell.
    Then, when Holy Mother Church (his wife) arrives on the scene, they all turn to dust and ashes, which is their TRUE nature. But the ‘commander’ of the demons shows up – Satan (previously known as Lucifer – “The Light Bearer” – for he ‘was’ the brightest of the angels and now is the darkest of demons!
    I think it is interesting that they climb the ‘mountain’ to escape from Satan. This could be equated to the mountain of Calvary where Our Dear Lord totally DESTROYED the power of Satan (if we can only rely totally on HIM).
    I suppose in summary, and in my opinion, that it is VITAL that we understand that this life is a “Spiritual Combat” and what is at stake is our immortal soul!

    1. As a recovering alcoholic who remains active in Alcoholics Anonymous I find myself both inspired and grateful for your comments. Thanks be to God and to you for sharing what He’s done.
      Sometimes people ask when I will be cured and why I still call myself an alcoholic and, I usually respond by saying that I will be cured when anyone else who has a lifetime chronic disease is cured – for instance I can stop working through the Twelve Steps, yet again, and stop helping the new and struggling when a diabetic can stop checking their blood sugar levels.
      I apologize; to Eileen and to any diabetics if any are offended; for going off on a my issue of mine here but, many diabetics who are in AA have been a fine example to me in the diligence in keeping healthy maintenance of two chronic diseases.
      Besides, there were people with succesful Recovery to welcome me when I first stumbled into the rooms and God has given me something which I can only keep by giving it away. The great paradox of AA.
      Thank you again Eileen.

  2. I wouldn’t call the cartoon scary nor accurate in depicting the realities and demands required in fulfilling the marital vows when it comes to “in sickness and in health”. At best I would rate the cartoon as quaint. Anyone who has walked this path as you well know, can tell you it’s a personal passion play with all the emotional and physical sufferings along with collateral damage victims, feelings of betrayal and abandonment thrown in for effect and we haven’t even got to the part ” till death do us part”. It is a test of faith, wills, and endurance where the only victory is met in the hereafter and in the meantime you experience moments of love and lifes pleasures.

      1. It’s a deep topic. Not so much negative as it is just honest experience. Illness, mental and physical can be a long chronic process that challenges the mental, emotional, physical and financial resources of a family. For me it’s not like you can take it back and choose another one if a vow is a few french fries short of a happy meal. You just find strength in Christ and His teachings. It’s a verticle dimension.

  3. My father, may God bless and keep him, lived with two wives who suffered from addiction–his first to prescription medication and his second, my mother, to alcohol. He remained steadfast and true, which is all the more amazing as he himself eventually succumbed to alcoholism. My father was a tough, sometimes unpleasant man, but he lived up to his marital vows every day of his life.

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