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medium_4000009470Plus, nursing compels us to turn away from our petty egos and toward the needs of others – note the word “compel.” Selflessness is not something we’re naturally inclined to, we self-absorbed humans, but once we become responsible for doing for others what they can’t do for themselves (the heart of nursing), then there’s no time for fixating reflexively.

“It helps in that regard, as Jugan reminds us, that the ill and infirm in our care are really Christ himself in disguise. “My little ones, never forget that the poor are Our Lord,” she was known to say. “In caring for the poor say to yourself: This is for my Jesus – what a great grace!” In other words, when our human reserves of charity toward our sick patients and neighbors begin to ebb, we can default to that mystical encounter with the hidden Christ and, please God, find our charity replenished.”

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