It has been a busy few weeks, just those days when little things rise up in succession and need to be taken care of and when there is free time the chapel is a more attractive proposition than the blog, and after the chapel some rest.
However on the 18th July my beloved aunt and godmother Biddy Hogan died. She was 87 and had a good life. We were very close, she was probably my closest confidante and she had a pretty big part to play in my vocation to the priesthood. She was devout, a holy woman who loved the Mass. So my family are coming to terms with her loss. Please remember her in your prayers.
I was able to conduct the funeral ceremonies myself - even the burial which I did not think I would be able to do, but God gave me the grace. I asked Biddy to intercede for that grace to get me through, and she did. But, as those of you who have had bereavements in the family will know only too well, we are all exhausted and spent.
At the Requiem Mass I preached on the story of St Martha's confession of faith in the resurrection. Martha seemed an apt model for Biddy - both had a profound and practical faith. Biddy was a worker, but like Mary of Bethany she also made time to sit at the Lord's feet. She also had a great faith in the resurrection. I remember asking her many years ago, as she went off to her room to pray the rosary by herself (like a contemplative!), did she pray the Mysteries of the day? She said she did sometimes, but she usually prayed the Glorious Mysteries - the Mysteries of the fulfilment of God's promises. And signs on it, her faith was such that she rarely worried about anything. Things were in God's hands, she had to do what he wanted her to do and then she trusted. That is faith!
Interestingly, friends and neighbours have been contacting me requesting a memento, one of the medals or pious articles she owned. That says a lot about how people viewed her, a testament to her holiness. Well, may the Lord have mercy on her and take her into his kingdom, and may she pray for all of us in these difficult times. And thank you for your prayers.