Friday, June 4, 2010

Rest in Peace, Brother

I went on my first "wake call" for a Hibernian Brother this evening. Ed was in an auto accident earlier this week and died of his injuries. I wasn't going to go - I didn't know Ed all that well. However, our President wanted as many members to go to the wake to represent the Division; Ed was a longtime member and active in the Order. So with an end-of-week sigh, I reluctantly got on my jacket and tie, grabbed my tri-color sash, and went to the funeral parlor.

Ancient Order of Hibernians Division 15 was out in force for our fallen Brother! There were at least 30 Hibernians there, some "fully vested" in kilt and beret, all in the tri-color sashes of Erin. Two vested Hibernians with pikes guarded Brother Ed's casket as the rest of us lined the room. Our President said some words about Ed's devotion to God and his country, how he always had a joke and or a smile for everyone as they came into the Hall. As Ken went on, I couldn't help remembering Ed the day of my Hibernian initiation. After I made my pledge, before everyone cheered and congratulated me, I heard a loud ATTA-BOY! I turned around and there was this white-haired ruddy-cheeked gentleman with a broad grin. It was Ed, and I felt welcomed into the Division from that point on.

The President then led us in prayer and one by one, we prayed for our Brother and paid our respects. I was proud to be in the company of such great men. No, I didn't know Ed all that well. He was my Brother all the same, and I owed it to him to see him off. He would have done the same for me.

Rest Easy Brother Ed - May you enter the Glory of Heaven before the Devil knows you're dead.

Daily Mass Readings
2 Timothy 3:10-17
Psalm 119:157,160,161,165,166,168
Mark 12:35-37

Thursday, June 3, 2010


I was just thinking about Deacon Joe, one of my Franciscan brothers I currently have the privilege of being in formation with. In one of our last meetings, Joe was musing a bit on why he loved the fraternity of the Secular Franciscan Order. To paraphrase:
"It's because I'm an oddball when it come to this God business, at least in the eyes of the world. I come here because I enjoy the company of other spiritual oddballs."

I could not have said it better myself. Since I can remember, I've been something of a spiritual oddball myself. From my first CCD classes through today, I've always looked upon my relationship with God with intense awe, to be explored examined and experienced. It's not always felt like a good thing. The world frowns on such a thing. You want irony? I've intensely prayed to God to make His relationship with me LESS important, to make it easier to carry myself in day to day life; in short, praying intently to not want to pray intently. I don't have to do that anymore, as long as I have all the Church-y "weirdos" in my corner. I could be in worse company; St. Francis of Assisi himself was known as "God's Fool"!

Spiritual Oddballs of the world, UNITE!

Memorial of St Charles Lwanga and companions
Daily Mass Readings
2 Timothy 2:8-15
Psalm 25:2-5,8-10,14
Mark 12:28-34