Last month, my boyfriend’s grandfather died. The beauty of our Catholic faith never felt more exposed to me than with the passing of another believing soul from earth into eternity. I could not turn a corner in the grandfather’s house without seeing a crucifix. The family physically came together in fellowship- to eat meals, participate in the sacraments together, laugh, mourn and celebrate the now-deceased and beloved man’s full life.
I felt blessed to be there, blessed to know him, and hope at his passing. When people say he is in a better place now, my boyfriend observed, how can they know? We cannot, and do not, though suspicions abound. It is in God’s mercy that we trust; it is in faith that we pray for his soul to find its eventual and eternal rest in Heaven.
At the funeral home, before the Mass, I sat next to my boyfriend’s mother. I asked her if she would like me to sit with their family or with my own. I’ll never forget the way she looked at me, and with her kind smile she said, “Oh, you should sit with us. [He] needs you. He needs you next to him. Isn’t it nice to be needed?”
Padre Pio said, “Pray, pray to the Lord with me, because the whole world needs prayer. And every day, when your heart especially feels the loneliness of life, pray. Pray to the Lord, because even God needs our prayers.”
I always wondered at that line: God needs our prayers? God needs us?
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