K.V. Turley is the Register’s U.K. correspondent. He writes from London.
Anna Corry was a 51-year-old wife and mother.
She was married to Martin. The couple had three boys: Michael (17 years old), Dominic (14) and Andrew (11). The family’s life was happily normal.
Then, in March 2017, Anna was diagnosed with breast cancer.
One year later, while a patient in a Sydney hospital, she recorded these words:
“They gave me a time limit of 12 months to live and it just, it shook me to the bone. I just said to them… I think I screamed out: ‘I can’t say goodbye to my sons. I just can’t do it!’
I was at home some nights. I remember saying to even the children or to my husband that I can’t go through this anymore. I just can’t cope. It is too painful, it is too dehumanising. I was worried that because I had been through so many things what was next?
I know he gives us all crosses and we’ve got to bear them and sometimes they’re emotional, we’ve got to work through them, or spiritual or moral. But with this physical cross he gave me… It was incredible to endure it and then to be treated for it. So the difference was amazing.
I was begging God to align His will with… sorry... my will with His.
That’s all I wanted but I didn’t know how it was going to occur. I just didn’t know how. I just couldn’t see myself... Martin [her husband] would say these words of wisdom… He’d even read things in the Bible or talk about Job... Tell me to read Job...about his affliction...that he had so many afflictions and what helped him.
And in the end the message… Well I actually read it myself… the message I got from that was that ‘you must pray for your enemies, you must do God’s will or love his will.’
And I started reading some of the saints and particularly Saint Teresa who agreed that if we align ourselves to God’s will it’s more pleasing to Him than our prayer, our mortification... Not that they’re not pleasing, they very much are but this was more pleasing even ... And I started to think of the beauty in that.
I lacked a lot of trust. And I didn’t realise until I endured this illness how much I lacked. Trust that he will look after the children…or Our Lady will. Apparently the two of us from heaven, or me from purgatory maybe, will look after the children so we will both raise them. What could be better than that?
So I lacked a lot of that trust but that’s since become… well, you know best. And that’s through the spiritual reading I’ve done, it’s through talking to very wise people, the priest in spiritual direction, Confession once a week... has been incredible… because [priests are] very busy and they’re giving this time for one person only. I’ve received Communion daily, which has given me tremendous graces.
And then more and more people would come [to visit] with intentions mainly about their children you know; women were coming you know and it was just so beautiful to be able to help them either by just words but more praying for them because I did have quite a few hours so I was able to pray a lot.
I’ve had a few regrets and I’m trying to make up for it now in spiritual communions…I wish I had been more generous with my time, towards others, I really do... and going to the Tabernacle to do my prayer. That’s a regret that I have.
But also I’d like to say that Father has anointed me and it’s been unbelievable the graces to receive… Last Sunday I was anointed and the room was full of people. So they got to see me so happy, so relaxed after that.
Now my wedding day, the days I gave birth to my children, various other days in my life… days I’ve spent in here. Some of these days have been the best days of my life … and that’s due to most of the things I just said.
And I know that sounds crazy because here am I sitting up in a hospice but that’s the truth. That’s how I feel internally.
If I want to give advice to anyone... Stay in the state of grace to get to heaven.”
Two weeks after speaking these words on March 29, 2018, Anna Corry died.
It was Holy Thursday.
A week later, in the Easter Octave, following a Requiem Mass at her local parish church, Anna was laid to rest in the nearby Catholic cemetery.