My Last Sermon
by Clement Pavlick, C. P.
After having preached the Word of God through missions and retreats, novenas and other exercises for about 38 years, and then through writing booklets on Passionist history for the past 13 years, I was diagnosed with cancer.
I underwent chemotherapy, which brought on severe and painful side effects. It was then I decided to stop further chemo treatments. Trusting in God, I leave the outcome in his hands. Such is part of my present ministry -- living with cancer. What is it like?
First of all, I see my cancerous condition, not so much as a process of dying, but rather as another way of going home to God -- sooner or later, as God wills. Living with cancer is a challenge to live the Passionist charism and its ministries at a time of much suffering. There are many crucified in our world today -- many of them fellow-sufferers with Christ. I share in their prayerful attitude and purpose.
How Long Will It Take?
What kind of thoughts and prayers occupy my time as I make my spiritual journey to its final destination? And how long will it take? That is in Godís hands. I approach God with trust and confidence in his merciful love. God knows better than I what is best for me. What he has planned for me I wholeheartedly accept. May his holy will be done!
Other ministries open to me at this time: carrying the burden of old age; having more time for prayer and contemplation; the confessional apostolate and various works of kindness, charity and mercy.
Far from being an intolerable burden, old age is truly a grace and blessing, making the old person feel young at heart, ever ready to do oneís best for God and for souls through wise counsel and other good works.
Truly Preaching the Passion
The most important good work that is open to me at this period of my life is prayer. I am able to spend more of my leisure time taking long, loving looks at Jesus, contemplating his love, especially as manifested in his sufferings and death on the cross. When I have this kind of experience, I am truly preaching the Passion from the heart, even though I can no longer do so from the pulpit.
Fr. Clement died on April 2, 2000