Minute Meditation – A Friend

The next twenty-one years were a time of total dedication to serving the sick and the poor in the burgeoning city of the Midwest, Detroit, Michigan. Sent by the superiors to be the assistant to Br. Francis Spruck, monastery porter for over twenty-five years, Solanus soon became the one friar whom everybody wanted to see.… Poor Br. Francis, who was provincial tailor and porter at the same time, had hoped that the new porter would lessen his work at the office. Now, as Solanus became more and more known, the doorbell rang constantly. The friars finally put a sign over the bell, “WALK IN.”

The fame of Solanus spread by word of mouth all over the city. When people were sick or in difficulty, the word was, “Go see Father Solanus.” He was everybody’s friend, and like a good friend he was always available. On a typical day at the monastery office, all the chairs lined up around the room would be occupied. People patiently waited a turn to speak with Solanus, who sat at a plain desk in the center of the room. Sometimes he would be interrupted by the telephone on his desk. He would turn his attention to the caller, always with patience and equanimity. Every visitor was important to Solanus. He never hurried anyone. With complete attention he patiently listened to each tale of concern for a sick child or parent or friend. Gently he would speak of God’s love and how God turns trials to blessings. He would try to share his own deep faith and trust in God with the person before him.

—from the book Gratitude and Grit: The Life of Blessed Solanus Casey,
by Brother Leo Wollenweber, OFM Cap, page 43