TGIF, indeed! A week I’d like to cancel from my agenda. I awoke a couple of days ago with wrenching back pain, totally unexpected. Nothing helped that day or yesterday, including a multi-hour visit to a local hospital emergency room where, by 8:30 pm, there were still 12 to 15 people ahead of me on the wait list and I actually came home. Today was spent trying to see a doctor and get tests done as well as solve several issues with both my private insurance company and the Vatican health care center because, not being a full Vatican pensioner, I have only partial access.

The pain limits walking and the time I spend sitting so this column might be quiet for a few days until I find out what is wrong and we solve the problem. Say a prayer that happens soon!

VATICAN INSIDER will air as usual but this week it will be a “best of” prepared by my Alabama EWTN colleagues. My appearance Monday afternoon on “At Home with Jim and Joy” is up in the air at this moment. If I’m able to prepare a video segment at home on my iPad, I will do so.

One spiritual moment: As I started to say the rosary this afternoon, I realized it was Friday and that means the Sorrowful Mysteries, the first of which is the Agony in the Garden. While not agony like Our Lord suffered – or even agony suffered by so many in the world today – my pain made this a mystery that hit home. As were the other four mysteries, Lots of reflection today on pain and suffering and doing – or accepting – the Lord’s will!

TGIF has a new meaning for me: “Thank God I’m faith-filled!”

Until next time – Cheers!