Help, help, help

by one of our greatest minds, Michael Brogan

After learning last week that, despite all the preliminary indications and expert predictions to the contrary, my cancer in fact had progressed to my intestines, I walked the block and a half from the Center for Lymphoid Malignancies in New York to St. Patrick’s Cathedral, where I found my way to a pew in the Lady chapel and prayed like I never have before. A little later I thought of a line from the Polish poet Anna Kamienska, quoted in a beautiful 2016 essay by Christian Wiman: “I want only with my whole self to reach the heart of obvious truths.” I felt like maybe I was starting to approach one such truth: It is good to pray to God for help. And not just for help of a general and spiritualized sort; my prayers that day were very specific, my desires entirely concrete and this-worldly. Don’t let those lovely…

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