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Grief and Loss – A Reflection

January 17, 2020

Tonight a very dear friend and Sister in Christ is mourning.

The calling to be a pastor is Holy

The calling to be a pastor can be challenging

The calling to walk with parishioners through the Valley of the Shadows is heartbreaking

Yet it is also a sacred duty and honor

We hold her in our hearts and our prayers

We hold those she walks with in our hearts and our prayers

As I continue to walk with my mentor Thomas Merton

I consider how he responded to grief

He wrote an elegy for his brother, John Paul Merton who was reported Missing In Action in 1943 during World War 2

The loss of his brother hit him deeply

In these words he shared the depth of his grief

Sweet brother, if I do not sleep

My eyes are flowers for your tomb;

And if I cannot eat my bread,

My fasts shall live like willows where you died.

If in the heat I find no water for my thirst,

My thirst shall turn to springs for you, poor traveler…

Come, in my labor find a resting place And in my sorrow lay your head,

Or rather take my life and blood

And buy yourself a better bed–

Or take my breath and take my death And buy yourself a better rest.

As I lift my dear Sister, Colleague, and friend in prayer

I seek for each of us the consolation of our Lord’s love

Blessed are those who mourn he said… for they shall be comforted

Comfort and sustain us as we walk through the Valley of the Shadows

Lord, in your mercy, hear our humble prayer

Dona Nobis Pacem

Grant Us Peace

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