Monday, March 1, 2010
A Pebble in the Pond
Every year our family hosts a large Thanksgiving celebration. Traditionally, our father gave a toast to the host couple and to our mother. He always included his trademark Irish wit and a few pearls of wisdom. This year was to be different. This year he stood up, not so much as to give a toast, but to tell us goodbye. We did not know what he knew, that this would be his last Thanksgiving toast.
He talked to us about how much he loved us and how proud he was of his nine children, twenty-nine grandchildren and two great grandchildren. He talked about how God had blessed his life. With tears flowing he talked about his greatest blessing, his wife, our mother.
Then he spoke to us about a special devotion he had had for the last eight to ten years; a devotion to the longest suffering soul in Purgatory. He talked of being a pebble in the pond, hoping that we would be the ripples that would spread his devotion. He had even written the Holy Father requesting that a prayer for the longest suffering soul be added to the conclusion of the Mass. This was no light-hearted request. The words he spoke came from the core of his being. Too overcome with emotion he sat down and barely able to speak through the tears, he asked again that we “please pray for my longest soul.” We did not realize it at the time, but our father was not only there with us, he was also residing in the depths of Purgatory; his arms lovingly embracing his longest suffering soul.
On December 10th my father died. He had just come home from undergoing a minor medical procedure. He collapsed into the arms of one of my brothers, gave a brief smile as his final gaze fell upon three of his granddaughters, and released his hold on this life.
I do not believe that God intended for my father’s deep-seated devotion to die with him. I believe that we are meant to share the moment of Grace we received that Thanksgiving Day; that God intends for the long-forgotten to be forgotten no more. Please tell people you meet that you heard of a man whose love was so great it reached the very Gates of Paradise, pleading, “Please, Lord, let this poor soul in.” Ask them to take a moment after Mass, at mealtime or preparing for sleep to pray for the longest suffering soul. God chose to use my father as the pebble in the pond. By His grace we will be the ripples.
Corpus Christi adoro Te
Corpus Christi salva me
Posted by Darby at 8:06 AM