Wednesday, October 24, 2007

More from the Heartland

So, in light of the post below, it seems not a few have been moved again... moved to tears in some cases.

Thanks for letting me know, and to the many of you who've sent notes; they'll find their way home to Msgr Ed's friends and faithful back in Iowa.

By the by, I've been told that that "more than 1,000" figure on his funeral attendance was a bit erroneous -- the number would be more accurately noted as "more than 1,500," with folks filling out every doorway of the main church and the entire hall of the basilica parish... and on a weekday morning, no less.

Hopefully no one minds the brief break from the news, but the moral of the story is that, more than the daily feed, just like so many other examples of witness, this story reminds us of what we're all about: faith, love, steadfast service, devotion, joy, fun, and that hope which will never leave us forsaken.

I often tell my colleagues that, for all the reportage we've seen -- or, given the usual matter, endured -- of this church's humanity, what's too often missing is the just due to that humanity's highest grade: the selfless masses from across the board who, day by day, get up every morning to give their all, to give life, to so many.

By the thousands and more, it's out there -- you're out there. And we need to celebrate this more, folks -- that is, we need to celebrate all of you more, to thank, to praise all of you who make it happen every day, in what seems like every place around the globe.

I don't know about you, but it seems that every day, everywhere we turn, there's some sort of scandal or bad news, often manufactured, often publicized by folks among us who, however well-meaning, can tend to play up the darkness whilst ignoring the sea of light that surrounds them.

If you look for the light, however, you find it. And I know I'm not alone in having found it, having experienced it in spades, both from near and far and across every one of the arbitrary "divides" we hear so often about.

Just keep that light shining, gang, because God knows how much so many of us need it. And no words could say adequate thanks to all of you for keeping it up, for touching so many with it, however you go about it.

I've spent a good bit of today talking with Ed's friends, all while searching around for the text of a prayer that he loved, a prayer he once sent me... but one I couldn't recover amidst the sea of piles that is my bedroom.

Thankfully, late in the day, the text surfaced. It's an "Old French Prayer for Friends" that he placed on the back of the remembrance-cards when he got soaked with the Purple Rain.

Some of you might know it, but most of you probably don't.... Whatever the case, here's hoping at least a few get something out of it:
Blessed Mother of those whose names you can read in my heart,
watch over them with every care.
Make their way easy and their labours fruitful.
Dry their tears if they weep;
sanctify their joys;
raise their courage if they weaken;
restore their hope if they lose heart;
their health if they be ill;
truth if they err
and repentance if they fail.
Today and always, this is my prayer for each of you. God love you lot and keep up the great work.