CHICAGO, Ill. (CNS) – Nearly two months after having his cancerous bladder removed, Cardinal Francis E. George of Chicago spent several hours Sept. 25 and 26 meeting with members of the media in advance of resuming his public schedule Oct. 1.
The cardinal said he is doing well and no longer experiencing pain from the July 27 surgery, which included removing his bladder and using a section of bowel to create a new bladder. Doctors did a second operation late that night after discovering he was still bleeding internally.
Cardinal George, 69, acknowledged that for a period of several hours following the first surgery he believed he was dying – a thought that did not frighten him.
"The important thing when you die is to be ready to surrender your whole life to the Lord," he said. "When you’ve done that, when you’ve given the Lord your life, that brings a certain peace. After that, it’s up to the Lord to take care of you, and he will. That’s his end of the bargain."
And, while being in pain makes it difficult to think, Cardinal George said he could feel the prayers thousands of people were saying for him.
"I knew I wasn’t alone," he said. "I could sense that I was in people’s prayers. I could also sense the presence of the Lord. The Lord was with me, and he brought his friends – and quite a few of my friends, too."