Igniting Our Values
Igniting Our Values

February 23, Monday

Finding God in All Things

In her reflection on the Sunday readings, LMU alumna and long-time Ignatian partner Mirabai Chuldenko refers to Finding God in All Things as her “personal covenant” with the Lord.

Scripture Readings

Please refer to the Sunday readings:

GN 9:8-15
1 PT 3:18-22
MK 1:12-15

English
http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/022215.cfm

Español
http://www.usccb.org/bible/lecturas/022215.cfm

Daily Reflection

Finding God in the Critical Care Unit
by Mirabai R. Chuldenko, RN, BSN, CCRN

The Prayer of St. Ignatius is written on my heart; its echo floods my mind throughout a typical day on the Critical Care Unit. Sure, an outsider might think that the monitors and alarms would drive out one’s ability to Find God in All Things. But Finding God in All Things is such a vital part of the agreement/covenant for my daily life that — without it — I’d be unable to calm my mind, exercise sound judgment and provide excellent patient care.

Life and death are ever-present in my line of work, reminding me of the delicate balance between lifesaving medical interventions and our society’s inability to accept death. Where is God in these wildly contradictory situations? How long do we push to provide care when death is inevitable? When sickness overcomes modern technology and medication, can we make room for God’s Will and accept the natural progression of disease? Can we allow our loved ones peace at the end of life? God has created me for some good; how can I hear His voice and be of service to others in the most meaningful way?

Finding God during emergency situations can be especially challenging; but the truth is, God is ALWAYS there. God is evident in the compassion of a nursing staff that cares not only for patients but for patients’ families. God is present in the immense support that nurses offer to one another, truly understanding the difficult tasks performed and the stress of each unique situation. When events take a turn for the worse and loved ones are suddenly faced with the threat of impending death, I support the family and help prepare them for what lies ahead while continuing to work to preserve their loved one’s life.

Lent reminds me to take a moment and recognize the love of God that is found in all of us. (“Beloved let us love one another, because love is from God...if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us.” 1 John 4:7-12.) As a Critical Care Nurse, I have the privilege of being present to patients and strangers during extremely difficult and challenging times. I have the opportunity to show great compassion and love and I can assist patients and families in direct and meaningful ways. Can I listen with an open heart, anticipate patient and family needs and provide the best care? Can I Find God in even the most challenging crises?

On this Lenten journey, I am called to reflect on my own covenant with God and my relationships with others. I hope that I might love tenderly, listen empathetically, and maintain the dignity of each and every patient and family member I encounter.

Encontrar a Dios en la Unidad de Cuidados Intensivos
Por: Mirabai R. Chuldenko, RN, BSN, CCRN

La oración de San Ignacio está escrita en mi corazón; su eco inunda mi mente a través de un día típico en la Unidad de Cuidados Intensivos. Seguro, alguien de afuera podría pensar que los monitores y alarmas podrían anular la posibilidad de Encontrar a Dios en Todas las Cosas. Pero Encontrar a Dios en Todas las Cosas es una parte vital del acuerdo/pacto en mi vida diaria que – sin esto – no me permitiría calmar mi mente, ejercitar un juicio sano y proveer a los pacientes de un cuidado excelente.

La vida y la muerte están siempre presentes en mi línea de trabajo, recordándome el delicado balance entre las intervenciones médicas para salvar vidas y la inhabilidad de nuestra sociedad de aceptar la muerte. ¿Dónde está Dios en estas situaciones tan contradictorias? ¿Cuán lejos debemos ir en la provisión de cuidados cuando la muerte es inevitable? Cuando la enfermedad supera a la tecnología moderna y a la medicación, ¿Podemos dejarlo a la voluntad de Dios y aceptar la progresión natural de la enfermedad? ¿Podemos permitirles paz a nuestros seres queridos, al final de la vida? Dios me ha creado para algo bueno; ¿Cómo puedo escuchar su voz y servir a otros de una manera significativa?

Encontrar a Dios durante situaciones de emergencia puede ser desafiante; pero la verdad es que Dios siempre está presente. Dios es evidente en la compasión de las enfermeras cuidando de los pacientes y de sus familiares. Dios está presente en el inmenso apoyo entre las mismas enfermeras, comprendiendo verdaderamente la ardua tarea a realizar y el estrés único de cada situación en particular. Cuando la situación va camino a lo peor y los seres queridos se enfrentan con la amenaza de la muerte inminente, yo apoyo a la familia y los ayudo a prepararse para lo que vendrá, mientras continúo trabajando para preservar la vida de sus seres queridos.

La Cuaresma me indica hacer una pausa para reconocer el amor de Dios que se encuentra en todos nosotros. (“Queridos hermanos, debemos amarnos unos a otros, porque el amor viene de Dios…pero si nos amamos unos a otros, Dios vive en nosotros y su amor se hace realidad en nosotros.” 1 Juan 4: 7-12.) Como Enfermera de Cuidados Intensivos, tengo el privilegio de estar presente con pacientes y extraños durante situaciones extremadamente desafiantes y difíciles. Tengo la oportunidad de sentir compasión y amor y puedo ayudar a los pacientes y a las familias de una forma directa y significativa. ¿Soy capaz de escuchar con el corazón, anticipar las necesidades de los pacientes y las familias, y a la vez, brindar los mejores cuidados? ¿Puedo encontrar a Dios aún en las crisis más desafiantes?

En este tiempo de Cuaresma, estoy llamada a reflexionar sobre mi propio pacto con Dios y mi relación con los demás. Espero poder amar con ternura, escuchar empáticamente y mantener la dignidad de cada uno de los pacientes y familiares que encuentro.


Mirabai R. Chuldenko is a Critical Care Nurse in Los Angeles. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Loyola Marymount University and Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from Mount St. Mary's College. She spent 3 years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ivory Coast, West Africa.



Prayer

Almighty Father,
you are the God of the living and the dead,
help us to find you in both.
You have assured us that you are always with us,
now and beyond the grave,
may that knowledge become part of us,
giving us the strength to inspire others,
to comfort others,
and to be truly available in our suffering world.
May my eyes be your eyes seeing your people,
may my heart be your heart,
loving what I see.
Amen.

Passages

All I have is a voice
To undo the folded lie,
The romantic lie in the brain
Of the sensual man-in-the-street
And the lie of Authority
Whose buildings grope the sky:
There is no such thing as the State
And no one exists alone;
Hunger allows no choice
To the citizen or the police;
We must love one another or die.
: W.H. Auden

Without dignity, identity is erased.
: Laura Hillenbrand






Multimedia

Music
O mio babbino caro (Puccini/te Kanawa)



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America 10/14/19

America 9/30/19

America 9/16/19





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