Fearful Saints: Comforting friends in a hospital setting [Book Review]
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Journal of Medical Humanities and Bioethics 6 (1):38-45 (1985)
The article examines the role of courage in breaking barriers which prevent friends unfamiliar with the health care industry from providing the needed support to sustain a friend during critical illness. “Fearful Saints” offers ways of understanding the complex issues which distance friends during illness. Close friends feel compelled to enter the world of suffering, but must first confront the terrifying images of illness. By examining Henri Nouwen'sThe Wounded Healer, and the story of Jesus asking his disciple Peter to wait with him in the garden, the concept of extending compassionate understanding during times of adversity becomes manageable. Although miracle potions may not be accessible, the reader learns to identify the role of comforter as one who will not permit an afflicted friend to travel through the experience alone
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