A Thank You with answers from Bishop Matthias
The following is archived so as to provide you with understanding about the past... (06-14-2011 Tuesday)
July 18, 2008 – Friday
I have asked Vladyka +Thaddeus (Metropolitan Archbishop +Joseph Thaddeus) to help me write this because I’m having problems with eye sight and typing.
Many of you who are aware of and know what is happening have sent many “Get Well” and “Prayer” e-mails and believe me, I do think they are helping me. I know there are many other people across the U.S.A., Canada and South America who are OTL (out-to-lunch) on their faith because of what is happening in the world and still cannot fathom how God can allow these things to come about, All of your e-mails do count and as said, are helping by the Grace of God…!!!!....!!!!....!!!!
Even with wearing glasses and special glasses to read; I still have problems… As a result, even the e-mails that are sent to my e-mail, are received, picked up and read to me by Vladyka +Thaddeus (firstname.lastname@example.org). He has done this for even our former sister Elaine when she was having her medical problems and he does it for other people too. As for me. I have wanted to e-mail a reply to each of you but I tire easily these days more especially since finding that my diabetes has advanced into the “Adult Type 1” which now requires daily insulin shots almost twice a day and on special occasions when the readings show my blood/sugar levels going like a yo-yo… It’s been almost a month since the diagnosis and Vladyka +Thaddeus has had the ambulance here twice with one time their rushing me the 31 miles to Deming….
Coupled with the flooding here in Columbus, NM when the ambulance was called, was a feat of work on both the ambulance’s part and Vladyka +Thaddeus’ part as he had to wade through more than ankle deep water to get to the yard gates in order to unlock them and let the ambulance in… That was the time on Friday the 11th of July when Vladyka found me in diabetic shock at 5:00 a.m. … When the ambulance people and local acting police chief came inside I was just coming out of diabetic shock. They believe it was because of Vladyka’s quick action and knowledge. According to them, Vladyka did things beyond the norm that they weren’t even aware of could be done to hasten the average person to get someone in diabetic shock out of it. I don’t understand all of it, but I know what I heard when they stood before me as I began to recover… We Thank God and I especially Thank God each night because I really don’t believe its my time… But who am I? It is all up to God when He will or will not let me cross over… I guess there’s still some use for me in this life afterall.
We are all acutely aware of the fact that for those adults with Type1 diabetes, eventually it reaches a point where dementia will set in… Also, we know that as HIV/AIDS advances there comes a time when it will cause for the individual to go into dementia too. And when both HIV/AIDS and DIABETES hit those points or time in our lives… I can only wonder how bad the dementia will be and how difficult I will be to care for? Vladyka Thaddeus keeps reminding me that as he has for many people in the past, also for me…. He’s said, “For as long as you are in this life I will walk with you to the end of time unless I am called from this life before you are or unless you decide to leave on your own…” I’ve watched him, as I have for more than 23 years plus… He’s true to his word in spite of what many people and clergy have had to say about him, more especially those who don’t personally know him on a one-to-one and face-to-face basis. He’s honest to a fault in sticking to his promises for he believes as I do that when one makes a promise, it is the same as making it to God and unless you break it, he will not… unless the breaking of such a promise is due to man’s interference. This has always been important to me as it makes for me to know that his stand on the Seals of the Confessional is all the more important. I bring this up because of what I’ve watched on T.V. regarding many of the Clergy of the Roman Jurisdiction of the Catholic Church having been found to depart from one of the primarily pillars of that Church. This tells me that Orthodox Catholic Christian Clergy are about the only ones remaining in this life who keep to all their vows…
I brought the above subject up because I’ve been listening to many parishioners and members of other jurisdictions and denominations who are afraid to go to confession in their own churches. I’m amazed but yet… what can I say. If we had been more alert and attuned to the Oral and Written Traditions (Patristic Fathers and Saints and even more especially the Holy Bible) departing from the faith was predicted and some of these things were predictable in time… which is coming true more now than ever before.
I still have my wits about me and I have ears to hear when things are read to me. I have to wear glasses to watch the news on T.V. so I can still respond to you if you wish to write or e-mail me personally…
While it is true that my memory has become affected by these several health issues I’m not so far gone that I can’t assimilate some things and respond. I may no longer be able to do and pray the full Divine Liturgy and properly attend Divine Office by myself, I have found that when I’m with another priest, I can do what is right and proper as things come back to memory as we go along… but by myself I have the most difficult time.
HIV/AIDS and DIABETES affects more severely those who have any kind and form of Dyslexia too… for some of you know that is what I have… and it has grown worse because of these health issues.
Now… I have to respond to one e-mailer who was, from my way of thinking a bit harsh, but given the nature of the person, it is his character and way of doing things…. My response:
In answer to your question I can only say that I am not happy with having both HIV/AIDS or Diabetes and I’m not happy being dyslexic. But, because my family history and the family histories of many whom I’ve met in years gone by show me that there are more people in this life who hide their various problems and learning disabilities because of the way the public often responds with something like, “Oh, I’m so sorry to hear about that. I wished I could help you.” Or, “That’s sad to hear. If there’s anything I can do to help, just let me know.”
While I believe they are truly sincere in what they say, it also tells me that they are lacking in knowledge about people with learning disabilities and are more likely the kind of people who run from those with physical disabilities because they don’t know what to do to help them. First: Treat them as though they haven’t a disability. Second: People with both physical and other disabilities are no less capable of reaching out to help others than any other person without a disability can do. Third: Treat every person in the same way you wish to be treated and that is a very biblical teaching which comes from Jesus Christ Himself!
While I may not be very proud about my disabilities and health issues, I’ve seen to much damage being done to those people with either or both physical and mental disabilities. Did you know that children growing up with Down’s Syndrome are being found to be most gifted in such areas as music, arts and other professions? I was surprised when I learned that too.. So if those kind of special people and children are so gifted, it is no wonder that I, in my own way along with Vladyka +Thaddeus, reach out to special people (as we call them) who are suffering from Bi-Polar disorders, Dyslexia, HIV/AIDS, and other handicaps as well. Did you know that Cure’d Ars suffered from a learning disability and could not learn under normal methods of a class room environment, but because he learned at home (and electricity, I don’t think, even existed)… he became an famous priest who became a Saint. And, that is only one example…
So, I respond to you with just that amount of information and understanding. So, please, don’t patronize me… Pray for me… Yes, Pray for me! I do need your prayers… but, don’t patronize me!
For those of you who have reached out to me with your prayers and get well e-mails… you have blessed me and I thank you because you have treated me as an equal without patronizing me…. God Hears and so do I as you have contacted me…
+Matthias (Father +Jeff), SSJt.
06-13-2011 - A Note: After 27 plus years in the vineyard of this, Father +Jeff went to his repose in my arms on my birthday of 02/04/2010 at St. Alphonsos Hospital in Boise, Idaho. By the Providence of God, may Father +Jeff be in Paradise with St. Dismiss and all the saints... +Thaddeus
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