Jesus My Patient

A prayer from Mother Teresa and used by her Sisters of Charity in their care for the sick, poor, and dying: 
Dearest Lord, may I see you today and every day in the person of your sick, and, whilst nursing them, minister unto you.

Though you hide yourself behind the unattractive disguise of the irritable, the exacting, the unreasonable, may I still recognize you, and say: "Jesus, my patient, how sweet it is to serve you."

Lord, give me this seeing faith, then my work will never be monotonous. I will ever find joy in humoring the fancies and gratifying the wishes of all poor sufferers.

O beloved sick, how doubly dear you are to me, when you personify Christ; and what a privilege is mine to be allowed to tend you.

Sweetest Lord, make me appreciative of the dignity of my high vocation, and its many responsibilities. Never permit me to disgrace it by giving way to coldness, unkindness, or impatience.

And O God, while you are Jesus, my patient, deign also to be to me a patient Jesus, bearing with my faults, looking only to my intention, which is to love and serve you in the person of each of your sick.

Lord, increase my faith, bless my efforts and work, now and forevermore. Amen.

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11 thoughts on “Jesus My Patient”

  1. The troubling part is that apparently this doesn't include humoring Jesus' wish for effective analgesia.

  2. It really would be helpful to see a comparative analysis of the Missionaries of Charity relative to other charitable operations. I tend to dismiss the Hitchens stuff, but The Lancet and the British Medical Journal reports are concerning. So is the lack of transparency in the operations of the Missionaries of Charity. I think the spiritual sentiment in this particular quote is great, but that doesn't free them from other basic responsibilities. I think we should be setting the standard for international charities, not lagging behind them or making open, honest assessments difficult.

  3. I agree. Most of my spiritual heroes, people like Mother Teresa, Gandhi, Dorothy Day and Martin Luther King, Jr., were flawed human beings and did things that I don't agree with. But pointing out their flaws and mistakes doesn't detract from their prophetic witness.

  4. I actually find this repellant. It implies that people are not worthy of love and care simply for their own sake

  5. I can see that. For me it goes to how one finds their way to these hard places in the first place and sustain the hard, tedious and brutal work day in and day out for a lifetime. When mere human affection fails faith fills the void.

  6. What a thoughtful prayer.  Ministry to others, sans a concrete theological foundation, can lose its beauty.  I can see how the prayer could serve as both encouraging and centering.  Thanks for posting this.

  7. This prayer has meant a great deal to me over the years in the long term care of first my daughter and later my wife (I have never found that serving Jesus through acts of compassion is in tension with ministering to the bodies and souls of my family or brothers and sisters) bless you for sharing, much obliged.  

    (‘And they asked Jesus, when did we see you sick, hungry, or naked, lord?’  And Jesus said unto them: ‘Go thou, and research and compile a comparative analysis of possible strategies for designing a feasible approach to constructing a theoretical model for addressing the achievability of mitigating the social costs and challenges of conceptualizing the problems of health care administration and commodity distribution‘).  

  8. Chris, Can you expand on this a bit? As a nurse who has ministered in many areas - ER, oncology, home health, college students, the undocumented - this prayer really touches my heart. Please help me to understand what is repellant to you?

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