Mexico City, Mexico, May 21, 2020 / 15:55 pm
When Fr. Antonio Pérez Hernández was recently hospitalized with COVID-19, he said he was able to witness firsthand how God is present in the midst of suffering.
The priest shared his experience in a recent video posted by the archdiocese of Tlanepantla, Mexico, where he serves.
After Pérez fell sick with the virus, he was admitted to a public hospital where he shared a room with other patients, some of whom died.
“When I was in that place, there came a time when I did feel like God could call me into his presence,” he said.
“And that's when you discover abandonment, the total abandonment of saying to the Lord: ‘Here I am, if you want to call me, I am willing; if you want to leave me, I am also willing. I only ask that you please give me the strength to give absolution and attend to my brothers who are suffering from the disease just like I am’.”
The priest said that despite the illness, his experience at the hospital was beautiful and freeing, because he “felt the loving presence of God.”
While at the hospital, Pérez said he always introduced himself as a priest and gave absolution to the sick who requested it. He said he found Christ in the sick patients and was reminded that “we all need Jesus.”
He witnessed four patients die, but said that after giving them absolution, he could see that “they were comforted, they were at peace.”
Through constant prayer, the priest said he watched the hospital rooms be transformed into places of peace where the presence of God could be felt and encountered.