Dear friend Jennifer,
Although the earthly light of the candle I lit for our friend Tricia after Mass this morning seems to have been extinguished, her spirit is not in the dark. Our hope in Christ is that it is burning and shining brightly in the presence of her loving God who breathed the breath of life into her and now has taken it back to Himself in its fullness and completion. Let us pray for her journey as she is being borne up to her Eternal Home by angels as though on eagles' wings. May she already be purified and made holy and perfect through enduring her prolonged earthly pain and suffering from cancer as she united it with the suffering of Christ for her. She knew well "the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death" (Phil. 3:10). Let's truly celebrate that as she put her faith in Christ, now she is experiencing "For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain" (Phil. 1:21)
In the prayers of our Church for the soul who has departed this life:
Loving and merciful God,
we entrust our sister Tricia to your mercy.
You loved her greatly in this life:
now that she is freed from all its cares,
give her happiness and peace forever.
The old order has passed away;
Welcome her now into paradise
where there will be no more sorrow,
no more weeping or pain,
but only peace and joy
with Jesus, your Son, and the Holy Spirit
forever and ever. Amen.
And one of Leona’s poems—
WILL IT BE DARK?
WILL IT BE DARK when I cross
That Ultimate Threshold?
"Beyond the sunset" implies night
with all its fright, as the next scene
unknown, seems to unfold.
"He who follows Me" Jesus assures
those who walk this earth
(how much more those on The Other Shore
who have leaped limitations into immortality)
"shall not walk in darkness
but have the Light of Life."
"NO NIGHT THERE!" thunders The Revelation,
"The Lamb is The Light" the Lamp is His Presence
"no sun and no moon" speaks their obsolescence
all is as noon, all is The Light!
It shall not be that we stumble and grope
in the sure darkness of those without hope.
But we, who even now dwell in Eternity
shall shine constantly as the stars forever and ever.
The blind shall see, the lame walk, the dumb talk
all praising the Lamb, the Light, endlessly.
WILL IT BE DARK when we close our eyes?
Must we embark on That Final Voyage
with apprehension and dread fearing what's ahead?
For it shall not be that we sail into the sunset
but into the Splendid Sunrise
not into the foreboding of a growing night
but a dawning light. Not with sighs
but with a celebration shout Hallelujah!
God has provided the Lamb: THE LIGHT!
God has answered our fear: IT'S BRIGHT!