let me live until I die …

… an interview with Thea Bowman, “a Franciscan Sister who became a huge inspiration to black Catholic communities, and to wider circles for her joy and gratitude, her nobility of spirit, and her very real spirituality.”

“When I first found out I had cancer, I didn’t know if I should pray for healing or life or death. Then I found peace in praying for what my folks call “God’s perfect will.” As it evolved, my prayer has become, “Lord, let me live until I die.” By that I mean I want to live, love, and serve fully until death comes. If that prayer is answered, if I am able to live until I die, how long really doesn’t matter. Whether it’s just a few months or a few years is really immaterial.”

“Question: Why do people have to suffer? What possible good can come from it?

Thea Bowman: I don’t know. Why is there war? Why is there hunger? Why is there pain? Perhaps it’s an incentive for struggling human beings to reach out to one another, to help one another, to love one another, to be blessed and strengthened and humanized in the process.

I know that suffering gives us new perspectives and helps us to clarify our real value. I know that suffering has helped me to clarify my relationships … Perhaps suffering stops us in our tracks and forces us to confront what is real within ourselves and in our environment.”

A video of her life.