By Paul Dion, STL
Remember my first message, and my titular reminder about not crying at my funeral. Well now, the chaplain of the Papal household has given a wonderful meditation about the "Last days, the end of the world." It is so wonderful that I want you all to taste it.
Before you go there, let me tell you what happened in our parish last week.
There was a man, one who had evidently had a stroke in the past who was always in church, morning noon and night. He appeared to be a vagrant, knapsack and all, but didn't act like one. You know, he was not the stereotypical vagrant. He moved about with a purpose. Actually, most of us are convinced that his purpose was to spend as much time with God as he could. He smiled and waved at everyone.
I never spoke to him and he never spoke to me. Not his fault, I was never near enough to him to make verbal contact. In fact, I never made the effort to talk to him. My bad. I never even got to know his name, until last week. Imagine, nearly three years of "lurking" on the fringes of this saint's life and never even getting to know his name. I'm pretty sure that "God's gonna get me for that." (Loretta Lynn)
Yes, friends, Richard Ortiz's world came to an end last Wednesday. You know what? I haven't seen a wet eye in the house. Not because we were anonymous to this young man (He couldn't have been more than 60), he certainly was not anonymous to most regular church goers, but because we all know that he is now in that part of the Kingdom where he can really help us, if he ever finds time to tear himself away from enjoying the vision of God face to face, we are actually happy. This is a real life experience that we here at St. Christopher Parish in Moreno Valley, California are faced with. This what Father Cantalamessa, the Pope's chaplain is talking about here.
Take care of yourselves. Do not chase false prophets. (The 666 fundamentalists, for instance) Keep yourselves close to God and you too will not need anyone to cry at your funeral. It is the biggest compliment in the world. I don't think that you can come up with a bigger one.