Dove of the Holy Spirit (ca. 1660, alabaster, Throne of St. Peter, St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
As Fr Charles FSDM said in his meditation on yesterday’s readings at Mass, ‘we know not the hour, nor the day’ when the Lord will come. We must live everyday as though it is our last, and prepare to meet our Maker each night before we take our sleep. This is the reason that during Compline there is time for recollection of events from the day past and confession for those.
As was stated on our Fraternity’s website, on Friday evening, the Fraternity was inspired by the Holy Spirit to elect me as their first Ordinary for a term of three years. This is a new beginning. When elected, I was asked, ‘Do you accept election?’ I could have said ‘No.’, but would how would that have been saying ‘Yes’ to God? Our Fraternity is under the Protection of Our Blessed Lady, the Mother of God. If she, as a young woman could say ‘Yes’ to the message of the angel, then could I refuse the question raised by my confrères. I believed then, as now, that I could not. And so, somewhat surprisedly I said,
If that be the will of God and of this Fraternity, I accept election. I will be at the service of the Fraternity, I am not to be served, but to serve.
I ask that you pray for me as I begin my term of office that I may carry out my duties as our Ordinary with care, diligence, humility and under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and Our Blessed Mother, the Queen of All Creation.
Oh, my Lord and Saviour, support me in that hour in the strong arms of Thy Sacraments, and by the fresh fragrance of Thy consolations. Let the absolving words be said over me, and the holy oil sign and seal me, and Thy own Body be my food, and Thy Blood my sprinkling; and let my sweet Mother, Mary, breathe on me, and my Angel whisper peace to me, and my glorious Saints … smile upon me; that in them all, and through them all, I may receive the gift of perseverance, and die, as I desire to live, in Thy faith, in Thy Church, in Thy service, and in Thy love. Amen.
—Blessed John Henry, Cardinal Newman, Cong.Orat.
We all find it difficult when our friends and family pass from this life to the next. But Jesus understands this, as is illustrated by the Gospel in the Mass on the Day of Burial, when Martha complains to Our Lord that her brother, Lazarus, would have not died if Jesus had been there. Our Lord tells her,
I am the resurrection and the life; he that believeth in Me, although he be dead, shall live; and everyone that liveth, and believeth in Me, shall not die for ever.
He then questions her (and, through this Gospel reading, us):
Believest thou this?
Martha’s reply is surely our reply too.
Yea, Lord, I have believed that Thou art Christ the Son of the living God, who art come into this world.
And so, today, while I mourn for the passing of a great friend for whose soul I celebrated the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass together with my confrère, Fr Charles FSDM, I know that my Redeemer liveth as he is the Resurrection and the Life and that we who believe in him will have eternal life. November is a month full of requiem Masses from the Commemoration of all the Faithful Departed on All Souls’ Day, to Remembrance Day, the daily Masses for the Holy Souls, and also any for the soul of those who pass during at present. However, tonight’s Mass was the first that I celebrated with the intention being the happy repose of the soul of a friend. The first ever. It was humbling but deeply moving.
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen.