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A book is a literary compass that has the potential to direct our thoughts and actions:

"Everything we read stimulates our mind to think, and what we think determines what we desire, and desires are the seedbed of our actions. Given this iron law of human nature--from reading to thinking, to desiring, to acting--we are shaping our destiny by the ideas we choose to have enter our minds through print." - Fr. John Hardon, S.J., The Catholic Lifetime Reading Plan

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"Every soul that uplifts itself uplifts the world." --Elisabeth Leseur

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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

A Grief Observed

About ten days ago I wrote about a former student who had been ordained a deacon. Yesterday I saw him again, but the circumstance were far from joyful. He was the assisting deacon at a funeral mass I attended.

The funeral was for my friend's husband, who passed away at the age of 49 from cancer. He found out he had cancer about ten months ago, shortly after he found out they were expecting their third child. Their daughter was born a few weeks before he died.

C.S. Lewis lost his wife Joy to cancer when she was only 45, and he wrote about it in his book A Grief Observed. Here are a few of his thoughts:
No one ever told me that grief felt so much like fear. I am not afraid, but the sensation is like being afraid. The same fluttering in the stomach, the same restlessness, the yawning. I keep on swallowing.

Meanwhile, where is God?...Not that I am (I think) in much danger of ceasing to believe in God. The real danger is of coming to believe such dreadful things about Him. The conclusion I dread is not, "So there's no God after all," but, "So this is what God's really like. Deceive yourself no longer."

Once very near the end I said, "If you can--if it is allowed--come to me when I too am on my death bed." "Allowed!" she said. "Heaven would have a job to hold me; and as for Hell, I'd break it into bits."
Rest in peace, Kevin.

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posted by Nick Senger at 5:14 AM

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