As we enter another week of our Lenten journey, guide us to the path that leads to you. Fill our hearts with gratitude, patience, strength, and peace as we strive to become the best versions of ourselves, honestly admitting our shortcomings and sins. As we renew our resolve each day to become better people, let us hear your voice in the deepest reaches of our hearts. Give us rest in you. Help us to accept others, showing them your great love instead of casting judgment. Stay with us through the busy days this week and remind us that when we need comfort, solitude, wisdom, or guidance, we can always turn to you. Help us develop discipline and generosity through fasting and almsgiving, and come closer to you through prayer this Lent. In your name we pray, Amen.
…Saint Anthony of Padua Parish bulletin
One of the hardest things to accept,
is to take things as they come.
So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.
Looking forward to shining
– Photo challenge
On the way to your funeral, I wondered if there was more I could have done? We’d talked and had some nice moments these last few years but the adrenal cancer took you quickly. Did I do enough these final weeks? Were you in pain with that labored breathing? I was thinking too much as I drove. I turned on the radio to quiet my thoughts and help let you go.
A song started that I’d never heard before that moment. Kenny Chesney explained with Better Boat. I felt like I had some answers and started to cry.
I don’t even listen to country music though; why was my radio on that station?
I changed the setting back to soft rock and continued driving West. I smiled into my rear view as I listened to the lyrics of Stairway to Heaven. “There walks a lady who shines white light.” It did make me wonder…
Of course you bought your way to heaven. You were a sweet, compassionate woman. I knew you were headed to the pearly gates, despite any of those feisty teenage stories you shared. These were my thoughts as I recognized the new song. The Man, Portugal, was singing and I laughed out loud when I remembered you were a teenager in 1966. Feel It Still explained you were a “rebel just for kicks”. You and I sang our way into the Funeral Home parking lot.
Your sense of humor was alive and well as I went in to say goodbye.
Your brother and his family were all there. Your cousins were by your side, Diane greeted us and your co-workers lined the room, spanning your years of service. The priest spoke about the volunteering you did in your retirement. The service was sweet and full of camaraderie.
But I guess you knew all that, since you were there.
We went to our cars to await the drive to the cathedral and cemetery. I settled into my vehicle and turned the radio back on. Pretty Mama was the celebratory song while waiting in the line of cars. I hoped you would dance with your Daddy. God would take your hand now.
Enough was enough though. They carried you out and you were now in the vehicle in front of us. There was no DJ with a response to that.
I shut off the radio and pushed in one of my own CD’s to drown out where we were headed. I’d forgotten that my car CD was Rock-and-Roll – my KISS CD. Thinking it may not be appropriate, I almost pushed it back out. Almost. It was a very fitting solo. Paul Stanley sang Goodbye all the way to your final mass.
You were there, in your old neighborhood, that whole morning. I believe it. God speaks to us in so many ways.
I know now that there wasn’t more I could have done. I’d listened. That was enough. Thank you for letting me hear your final play list.
The truth will set you free.