To my my dear friends, Gene and Marilyn, this is for you.
And for all those I have known in the forty years of my priesthood who wake up one day and — of a sudden — find their life changed.
Gene and Marilyn, you have been my friends for forty five years. I love you. I thank you for staying with me
You’ll be in and out of hospitals for a while. It’ll take all your courage and strength you can muster. But you have a wonderful faith.
Give thanks for the gift of your family and your University family as well (Gene is Vice President -f0r -mission-emeritus for St, Thomas University in Minneapolis/ St. Paul and (um) third base coach for the Twins when he’s not downloading new games to his three-old grandson Conner’s iphone or (um) editing some of my writings. That’s all in good humor, Gene. to keep you chuckling. Just be assured of a helluva lot a lot of prayer.
* * * * * * * *
Dearest Gene and Marilyn,
Just know you are very much . . .
and Prayed for these days
— all the time!
I always loved these wonderful words of Cardinal Newman . . . .
Lead, Kindly Light, amid the encircling gloom,
Lead me Thou on!
The night is dark, and I am far from home, Lead Thou me on!
Keep Thou my feet; I do not ask to see the distant scene; one step is enough for me.
I was not ever thus, nor pray’d that Thou shouldst lead me on;
I loved to choose and see my path, but now lead Thou me on!
I loved the garish day, and, spite of fears, pride ruled my will: remember not past years.
So long Your power hath blest me, sure it still will lead me on,
o’er moor and fen, o’er crag and torrent, till the night is gone;
and with the morn those angel faces smile which I have loved long since,
and lost awhile.
John Henry Newman — now on the way to bless all (but, of course, he always did.)
P. S. I don’t know whether you like this as much as I do, but I think this lady who knew a lot of tragedy in her life nailed it right.
Here’s a recording of Bette Midler’s The Rose. Enjoy.
With all my love, Gene and Marilyn — and to all my readers who have similar needs.