My heart grieves as we prepare for the funeral of one of my co-workers. Carol DeLois was my main point of contact nearly nine years ago when I applied to be the Director of Pastoral Ministries for the Diocese of Cheyenne. Working with her through the interview process and eventually being hired was a tremendous blessing in my life. It has been my privilege to work with Carol all of these years since the fall of 2009.
In one of my final conversations with Carol before she was diagnosed with a brain tumor she said to me, "We have to be ready to meet the Lord at any time." As I look back now at that conversation it really makes me pause. Did she have a sense of something already on the horizon?
My dear people, none of us know the time nor the hour as to when we will be called home. Do we find ourselves prepared at this moment in time?
St. Alphonsus Liguori has some great reflections in his book, Preparation for Death. I read that book many years ago and some of the points still resonate with me today. He made it very clear that the time of death was not the time to prepare. The time of death should find us already prepared. How do we do that? St. Alphonsus provided a simple answer. "Whoever prays is certainly saved. He who does not pray is certainly damned."
Carol was a person of prayer. I am grateful for the example she set for those of us who worked with her. There were times I saw her quietly slip out the door of the chancery and walk across the alley over to the cathedral to pray for a bit. She didn't know anyone was watching. This was just something she did to keep her ministry firmly rooted in Christ. I learned a lot from observing her, and I am grateful I was able to tell her that before her health declined.
Each of us can benefit from examining our conscience in regard to the quality of our prayer life. Is prayer truly a priority in our lives? Let us also remember that prayer isn't just about ourselves. Our prayer gives glory to God and it impacts the people around us. It allows God's grace and the power of the Holy Spirit to truly move among us. That is pretty powerful.
Who are you impacting in a positive way because of your life of prayer?
"Eternal rest grant unto her O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon her."
Mass of Christian Burial
Friday, April 27, 2018
Cathedral of St. Mary