Tag Archives: death

SAY GOODBYE AND LET GO

To say goodbye is the hardest thing… but in order to heal, we have to let go of grief and move on. We have to come out of the shadows and embrace the Light. GETTING STUCK IN PAIN When my father passed away in 2006, I got stuck at the foot of the Cross – crushed by the pain of losing my Dad, strangely finding comfort in Christ’s sacrifice. I had been performing “I Thirst” concerts – a powerful musical portrayal of the Crucifixion story – and with each note, each line, I’d get deeper …

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May We Die with You, To Rise with You in Glory

Recently I attended the funeral rites of a young person who experienced a tragic death. The line at the funeral home was continuously long. On the day of the funeral the Church was packed. No one knows what to say. Everyone is grappling with mixed emotions-one minute sad, another minute angry, another perplexed.  Its times like this, at crisis moments in life, that I feel helpless. What do we do as Catholics during these moments? We return to ritual. I love that the Catholic Church knows how to do its rituals. During these rituals we …

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An Accomplice in a Happy Death

Did you know that St. Joseph is the patron of a happy death? The explanation is really beautiful. St. Joseph is the patron of a happy death because he died with both Jesus and Mary by his side. Who could hope for anything more for that last, most difficult journey we all must take? My Grandfather just passed away. He was in his nineties, so I knew that his days were limited. For the past few years I have included in my daily prayers a prayer for the intercession of St. Joseph – that he …

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A Good and Faithful Servant

I didn’t meet Fr. Ray Aichele until he had retired. He became our weekend celebrant at St. Mary and became part of our parish family for I believe around 16 years. Fr. Ray was one of those God-centered people who are utterly lovable because they reflect the kind of love that Christ surely showed those who encountered him. I never heard a single unkind word come from his mouth. I never saw him become impatient or angry. He had a kind word, a gentle smile and a twinkle in his eye for everyone. While I …

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The Aurora Shooting: Be Not Afraid

The Aurora, Colorado, shootings on July 20, 2012, hit a lot of people hard—including me. This weekend, as the pictures of people who lost their lives slowly emerged, it became even more real for me. Faces (more so than names) always prompt me to try and imagine who the people behind the photos actually were before their lives horrifically ended. Several of my friends and acquaintances expressed similar sentiments upon processing the tragic news: “I want to move to a rural area”; “You just can’t leave the house anymore”; I’m scared to bring kids into …

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Pre-departure Area

When I worked in the Philippines we Franciscans used to refer to those who were nearing death as being “in the pre-departure area.” Perhaps it was our way of denying death or preparing ourselves to accept the fact that one of our Franciscan brothers was nearing death. If I recall, it was a retired priest who started that “pre-departure” tag, based on the way the Manila Airport passengers were moved into a special gate area before boarding. The “pre-departure” tag keeps coming into my mind whenever there is someone close to me entering into the …

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Transitions

The Easter Season is many things to many people.  For the not so religious it is a time for shopping for the latest fashions, planning and executing the perfect egg hunt, and finding all the best-tasting chocolate creations that now come in all forms. For the Catholic religious, it begins with Lent, leading up to Holy Week with a hard-core press of services from Holy Thursday until Easter morning Mass.  Then we begin the Great Fifty Days of Easter on our way to Pentecost. A great part of my Lenten season, Easter and the beginning …

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From Sin to Risk to Suffering to Resurrection!

We have been on quite a journey over these last six weeks, haven’t we? First we came to terms with our own mortality and sinfulness.  Remember you are dust.  Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel.  We received a healthy dose of humility.  We pledged to be better.  And we worked to become so. Then, about a month later, we were invite to pray with the Feast of the Annunciation, the commemoration of Mary and her yes and where that got her and where that got us.  I think of the Annunciation …

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Jesus of Nazareth: That’s Why They Killed Him

In what Jesus taught and did people found a new hope and a new freedom. If God’s love is as abundant as Jesus said, if every human creature, even the seemingly unimportant, has a special dignity, if all are called to participate in the kingdom of God which has already begun, then Jesus was presenting a whole new world. People no longer needed to be ashamed of themselves, to feel the oppression of not really belonging or the despair of not knowing where to turn in their sinfulness. True, there was still sin in the …

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Good Friday of the Passion of the Lord

Sacrifice. Loss. Mourning. Silence. Worship. When we first enter the church on Good Friday, we are immediately confronted with barrenness. The sanctuary is stripped of all ornamentation—no flowers, candles or altar linens. Some churches also cover up all the statues and icons with a purple veil. We are left with feelings of loss and deep sorrow. Good Friday commemorates the anniversary of Christ’s crucifixion and death. For Catholics, Good Friday is not just an historical event, but the sacrificial death of Christ which, with the resurrection, comprises the heart of what it means to be …

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