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Our Sister Bodily Death – A Reflection

July 28, 2021
A visitor when we went to spend some time with Mom tonight ❤️❤️

I have been reflecting on the many people that I have walked with through the Valley of the Shadows as a military chaplain and pastor. I have also been reflecting on the parishioners and friends that Denise and I have walked with together through the same Valley. I have also been reflecting on the gift that Denise gave to both of our mothers by her loving and steadfast presence with them through their own Valleys.

One of our musical companions on the drive from Georgia to Minnesota was our dear and beloved friend, Simon de Voil Home Page. One particular piece that he offered was his interpretation of Saint Francis of Assisi’s “Canticle of Creation.”

When speaking about our Sister Bodily Death whom Francis embraced wholeheartedly, Simon shared the following:

Most High, all-powerful, precious God,
through Mother Earth we see your face.
You who govern all of life,
sustain and nurture all that is.
With sister Death, first and last breath.
The key unlocking all we are,
there, we are.

Here are Francis’s own words: Be praised, my Lord, for our Sister Death,
whom we must all face.
I praise and bless you, Lord,
and I give thanks to you,
and I will serve you in all humility. (“Canticle of Creation” – St Francis of Assisi)

Mortality is something that I have had to face both professionally as a chaplain/pastor and as Denise and I journeyed together with our Mothers and some very dear friends.

Thomas Merton had the following to say about Sister Death: It is the acceptance of life in the midst of death, not because we have courage, or light, or wisdom to accept, but because by some miracle the God of life Himself accepts to live, in us, at the very moment when we descend into death. (The New Man, p. 5)

Tonight two mama deer and two fawns visited us at my Mom’s grave.

One of the mama’s came back to run around, look at us, jumped playfully over some headstones, and headed back to the brush along the marshy area behind the cemetery. Mom had chosen that spot years ago specifically because she knew that the wildlife would graze and play and live in that area.

As I remembered and gave thanks for my Sister Bodily Death, I also smiled and my heart dances with the deer who joined us.

  1. Reblogged this on Anniegoose's Blog and commented:
    This is so beautiful

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