The Catholic Patient

Charlie Chaplain’s Tales

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On his first day, as the Catholic part-time Chaplain to the Hospital (ed: note not “part-time Catholic Chaplain” – what was he the rest of the time: part-time Baptist, part-time Anglican?) was understandably nervous.

He went into the Ward (one of those long “Nightingale Wards” with beds down each side), looking for Catholic patients.

At the end of each bed, there was a small sign.  On the first one, it simply had the letter “P” written on it.  “a Protestant,” he muttered under his breath, “maybe Pentecostalists, could be Pagan….certainly not one of mine, anyhow”

However, as he passed the bed, he glanced over and wished the patient well.

The next bed along… “P” once more….and the next….and the one after that.  “Are there no Catholics here at all?” he wondered.

Then – Joy of Joys (though he sought forgiveness from Above for rejoicing that someone was unwell and in hospital, but this patient had the letters “RC” printed on the card at the foot of his bed!

The priest sat down beside him, and they had a wonderful chat.  The chap was delightful and a good conversationalist.

When it was time to go, the Priest said, “The doctors and nurses here are wonderful, but you mustn’t neglect your spiritual health – here’s a rosary, just a cheap plastic one, but a rosary none the less. As you use it, pray to the Archangel Saint Raphael, and thank him for healing you.”

“But, Father, I’m not a member of your Church; in fact, I’m an Elder at St Blethers by the Gasworks – the Kirk in……..”  The Priest interrupted, “But…. but … it’s got RC printed on the notice at the end of your bed!”

So the patient explained – patiently…… (and you can all join in the punchline of this joke – it’s so old that I’m paying death duties on it).

“It’s for the catering department; for breakfasts: those with a “P” on their card get porridge; me – I prefer Rice Crispies”  Boom! Boom!  (yes, I know that Kelloggs spell their breakfast cereal with a “K”, but it wouldn’t be a joke then, would it?)

 

Glorious Archangel St. Raphael, great prince of the heavenly court, you are illustrious for your gifts of wisdom and grace. You are a guide of those who journey by land or sea or air, consoler of the afflicted, and refuge of sinners.

I beg you, assist me in all my needs and in all the sufferings of this life, as once you helped the young Tobias on his travels. Because you are the “medicine of God” I humbly pray you to heal the many infirmities of my soul and the ills that afflict my body. I especially ask of you the favor (here mention your special intention), and the great grace of purity to prepare me to be the temple of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

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Filed under The Ramblings of a Reformed Ecclesiastic

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