by Ken Rolheiser
Mourning and all heaven in a day

“Doctor, I am afraid to die. Tell me what lies on the other side.”
Very quietly, the doctor said, “I don’t know.”
“You don’t know? You’re, a God-fearing person, and don’t know what’s on the other side?”
The doctor was holding the handle of the door. On the other side came a sound of scratching and whining, and as he opened the door, a dog sprang into the room and leaped on him with an eager show of gladness. Turning to the patient, the doctor said,
“Did you notice my dog? He’s never been in this room before. He didn’t know what was inside. He knew nothing except that his master was here, and when the door opened, he sprang in without fear. I know little of what is on the other side of death, but I do know one thing. I know my Master is there and that is enough.”

Do you ever have one of those days when it is just hard to love? Perhaps there is a little depression, or you just feel things have piled up on you? That was me this morning. It was probably justified, I rationalized.

This afternoon I learned my first cousin had been born to eternal life. I started looking for threads of hope and love again. I looked up the above story. I checked a short reflection on mourning and love, and realized that we need to live this life, now, so that the opportunity to love is used.

“Make my time on earth count loudly, so I’ve not lived in vain. 
Use the love we shared to make more love and not more pain.”
(Donna Ashworth “When You Lose Someone You Love”)

My upward bound continued with a return to Father Brendan McGuire’s Easter message. We need to go on our journey of FAITH. Only in the Resurrection will it all make sense.

“What we celebrate in the Resurrection is all about love. That God's love is so overwhelming that there is nothing that can out do him,” McGuire says. Easter is the message of love and joy.
Our job, McGuire says, is in the lesson of Good Friday. Despite all the bitterness, the ugliness, the cursing, the beatings and the suffering; Christ gave back love. And that changes everything. That is our job, to give back love to the challenges of life! Love is victorious!

Now I was ready for St Cyprian’s reflection on heaven. Heaven is like a great family reunion! There we will see many of our loved ones; parents, brothers, sisters, children. We will be in a place with no fear of dying.

Cyprian goes on to include the glorious company of apostles and martyrs. There will be all who shared their bounty with the poor and did works of righteousness. They kept the commandments and laid up treasures in heaven.

“What joy would you experience to hug a spouse or child again? What if you saw your best friend, or your parents? Would you run at full speed to embrace them?
Let those thoughts stir up within you a great longing for Heaven, one that informs your daily activities.” (Philip Kosloski, Aletia - November 03, 2019)

(538 words)