09 June 2007

Mother Church

My father died when I was only seven years old, just a month and a half shy of my eighth birthday. In my agony, despair and confusion I cried out to God who heard my cry. He answered none of my questions but called me to himself, to trust him, to follow him, to love him.

As I continued questioning him I slowly came to know him and to know his love. And ever so slowly I began to love him in return. I came to know him in a most profound way as Father.

My mother died when I was only nine years old, just over a month shy of my tenth birthday. Again in my agony, despair and confusion I cried out to God who again heard my cry. He again answered none of my questions but called me to himself and led me to his Church.

In the Church, most profoundly at St. John the Baptist parish, I came to know the Church truly as Holy Mother Church. Mother Church gave to me all that she had to give and I in turn have given her all that I have to give.

After Mom and Dad’s deaths, most every evening I would go outside and stand in the driveway. Looking out toward the West, I saw what I thought was a star (it was actually the planet Venus but that, really, is irrelevant). Many an evening I said:

Star light, star bright,
First star I see tonight:
I wish I may, I wish I might
Have this wish I wish tonight.
Only this morning did it fully occur to me that my prayer to the Lord has been fulfilled. What I wished for every night – what I prayed for – was to have my parents returned to me; I wanted, more than anything in the world, to see them, to hear their voices and to feel their warm embrace.

It is the strangest thing, the most unexpected and most profound. The most intimate, too. My earthly parents are dead, still with me I am confident in the Communion of Saints, but this is of little comfort to a young boy.

The Lord did indeed give my parents to me; he gave me Himself as my Father and the Church as my Mother. The Lord still works marvels for us; we are glad indeed!


  1. Anonymous1:59 PM

    Thanks for an extremely moving post.

  2. Wow. I have tears in my eys. You lost your parents at such a young age!

    I lost my dad when I was 20, and at that point I hadn't seen him in about 4 years, not since my high school graduation. I'm still struggling with grief at times.

    I have also found my Father through the Church (actually, LOTS of "Fathers", to include God, clergy, and laity! lol!)

    And I'm coming to understand my Mother as well.

    Thank you for reinforcing what is happening for many of us.

    My heart just goes out to you!

  3. You're very welcome. I'm sure you know, Adoro, that your grief will always be with you, this side of heaven, that is.

  4. I'll vouch for that. My father died in 1979, and my mother in 1989. Hard to believe it's been that long.

  5. Another very moving post Father. Adoro and Jeffrey, I am so sorry for your loss, as well as yours Father Daren.

  6. You're welcome, Esther. Our encounters of the Lord are to be shared so that might all come to know the Lord more deeply. Together we make our way to heaven, never alone.