Today, let us pray that all those who are going through the pain of grief will discover more about God’s love.
I was in my mid-thirties when I first experienced real grief. My mentor in the Order, a big brother to me, had gone to Ireland to bury his mother. While there, he himself died unexpectedly and was buried with her in the family plot. He simply vanished, leaving an empty hole in the center of my life. Since then, my parents have died; friends have died; other friars have died. Their deaths touched me, just as their lives had. I grieved their passing, but I am now at peace. The times that we shared together were hints of God’s love.
Grief is painful, but it is a sign of love, for only people who have loved can grieve. Without love, we cannot grieve. If we accept our grief and live with it, we eventually come to gratitude and peace. We can hear our loved ones’ voices reassuring us in our hearts. Today let us thank God for the love that enables us to grieve, and let us open our hearts to those who are grieving now.
Loren Connell, OFM, is a Franciscan friar and Catholic priest ministering in retirement at the St. Francis Retreat House in Easton, Pa.
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