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My birth certificate tells part of the story: I was born on November 12, 1935, in St. Louis, Missouri, to Thomas O. Moloney Jr and Mary E. Costigan, 28 and 26 years of age, respectively. On December 20, 1935, a clerk filed this data with the Bureau of Vital Records in Jefferson City, Jefferson City, Missouri.

This document attested to my emerging into chronos or chronological time: a quantitative measure of time in hours, days, weeks, months, and years. But kairos time, another Greek word, oriented me to the full mystery of my existence: a qualitative measure of time that accounted for the Sacred’s special presence in my life—those inexplicable O! moments.

Decades of living with chronic illness and pain, fatigue and constipation, of necessity, opened me to kairos time. Therein, I discovered the Crucified. How my passion soared as I kissed His knees during Good Friday’s Veneration of the Cross. I was not suffering alone. Unutterable prayer filled long nights of darkness atop my bed, froze tears, crusted my mouth. Such was my destiny to suffer.

Because of my reliance upon the Crucified for the next step, whether supported by a walk aid or limping on my own, I had neither inclination nor energy to live in chronos time. Relationships overwhelmed me. Anxiety precluded serious study, warped concentration, messed with my memory. Yet, I worked beyond retirement age, ever dependent upon health insurance to cover medical costs.

Now in my ninth week of hospice care, the Crucified still companions me. I am grateful for what has been and for what is emerging. Some kind of a finish line looms ahead, but it’s still indistinguishable.


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