What a Piece of Work is Man

Source: redbubble.com

Shakespeare had it right when he offered poetic praise to the Creator for the marvellous complexity of nature. Hamlet’s speech has always been a favourite.

Recently I had surgery on a vein in my left leg. This required wearing a compression stocking for several weeks 24/7 which was an uncomfortable pressure. In the follow up appointment with the surgeon he gave me a date to take it off.

When I removed it I immediately had a strong sense not just of relief, but how marvellous is the  complexity of the human leg. It sounds obvious when you realize how dependent we are on the exact functioning of the muscles, bones, arteries, and veins, etc to stand, let alone walk.

The first cause as Aquinas points out, is one of the five proofs for God’s existence. Human beings did not just evolve from random fish  into primates with self reflection ability. We are the product of divine intelligence.

The surgeon said I will need a second surgery on another tributary vein, later in the summer. Now that I know the compression stocking awaits another go, I am resigned to “no pain no gain.” But it doesn’t thrill me to do the penance.

Along with “offering it up”, I hope I will use it as a time to praise the Creator both for my health, and also the knowledge and skill of the vascular surgeon.


John Montague earned his Master of Divinity from Regis College, University of Toronto. He is an active member of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish. He has a Master of Social Work, and, until his retirement, provided counselling to individuals, couples, and families. For seventeen years he organized a Day of Reflection for Catholic parents of lesbian daughters, gay sons, and transgendered children.

  • Peter Bisson
    Posted at 07:27h, 23 September Reply

    Thank you John!

  • Margaret Manitowabi
    Posted at 07:45h, 23 September Reply

    John chi Miigwech for all that you do for the Praise and Glory of God. The counselling of individuals and offering the pain to God. I offer my work on this beautiful fall rainy day to him. A great day to back zucchini loaves

  • Paul Baker
    Posted at 09:37h, 23 September Reply

    John, I have often thought that it is amazing that we are as well as we are given the marvellous and complex make up of our anatomical and physiological bodies. For me I do not have to look for a miracle, I am a miracle! Thanks be to God.

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