There was no sound in the hospital
Save the din of machines:
The respirators and stomach pumps
And other medical things;
The patients lay tethered to monitors
Tubes in their arms or throats;
The nurses sat with coffee cups
Writing their copious notes.
In a cold grey room of the ICU,
A woman suffered alone,
Abandoned by her friends who had
Brought candy and gone home.
Unseen by man, the angel stood
Clothed in resplendent light;
He gazed at her who lay so still,
She who would die that night.
Awake, dear child, he said to her,
(For she was not old to him)
Contemplate the truth I speak
Before thy faculties dim:
I was sent by Almighty God
To guide thee here below
In what thou must believe and do
For the salvation of thy soul;
Throughout thy life I've been with thee
And never left thy side;
Yet over all these seventy years
I could not pierce thy pride.
God has granted thee long life;
But this hour is the last
For thee to embrace His Sacred Heart,
Beg pardon for thy past;
That thou shouldst gain Eternal Life
St. Peter's Barque waits nigh,
Our Lord invites thee, Enter now;
He calls thee from on high.
The angel spoke, the woman groaned,
She raised her weary head,
Why do you say such things to me?
I'm going to Heaven, she said.
All paths lead to God, you know,
No one road is true,
Salvation takes many forms;
You do what's right for you.
The woman turned, she closed her eyes,
She did not wish to speak,
Nor would she condescend to hear
The truth she did not seek.
The angel sighed, he bowed his head,
He called her patron saint,
Who came at once to join him as
The woman's pulse grew faint.
The Beata knelt by the bed,
She cried to Heaven above:
O, Jesus Christ, O Holy God,
Save this one I love!
By Thy Most Sacred Wounds, O Lord,
Touch this stubborn heart,
Give her true hope and Catholic Faith
Before her soul departs;
Lest she perish evermore,
Lost in Gehenna's flame,
Grant her humble penitence
And the grace to call Thy Name.
The doctor telephoned her son:
There's nothing we can do;
But soft and low, the angel heard
One sweet sound: Jesu.
The woman struggled then to pray,
Tears filled her eyes:
Forgive me, Lord, I caused those Wounds;
I didn't realize ...
A moment more, her soul had flown
To meet the Crucified,
She left the room, the town, the earth,
The angel at her side.
Susan Claire Potts