11th February – Our Lady of Lourdes / World Day of the Sick

Today’s infection marker corresponding to my chest infection (caused by the hickman line) was down to 32. Late last week it peaked at 110. This morning the consultant said that I can go home once an oral form of the IV antibiotics can be found and I have a successful 24 hour trial on the oral form. An oral form was found later in the day so if the trial works then I may be able to go home Saturday. My platelets have returned to 112 which is a normal enough value. The only top-up I received today was for phosphate.

Today we commemorate the first apparition of Our Lady to St Bernadette at Lourdes in 1858. In 1992 St John Paul II nominated February 11th as World Day for the Sick.

In today’s gospel Jesus says that we can not avoid the Cross any more than he could not carry crossavoid the Cross: Then to all he said, ‘If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross every day and follow me. For anyone who wants to save his life will lose it; but anyone who loses his life for my sake, that man will save it. What gain, then, is it for a man to have won the whole world and to have lost or ruined his very self?

St Therese of Lisieux summed this up by saying that: “Our Cross is our passport to heaven.” Hans Urs von Balthasar said “It is to the Cross that the Christian is challenged to follow his Master: no path of redemption can make a detour around it.”