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On Angels and Messengers

Saturday, September 25, 2010

In Memoriam: Meus Deus-Pater

A man of joy.
A man of sorrow.
Easy to love.
A contemplative genius
Too deep to fathom.

He looked like Santa Claus.
The children, for a while, believed he was.
No ... the beard was too well trimmed.
More like Hemingway, I'd say, though
Hemingway's prose was not as poetic.

He excelled at everything.
Even warfare for which he later atoned.
After bombing Nantucket, accidentally,
A fighter pilot in the oxymoronic Pacific War.
He came home more penitent than triumphant.

No mother, no father -- but embraced
by aunts, uncles, cousins and a brother,
plus a new brotherhood of disciples
of Ignatius, in which he made reparation
for acts of war by facilitating Acts of God.

A teacher, missionary and spiritual director.
On countless occasions,
he touched thousands of souls
in hundreds of ways over scores of years,
sharing the grace of one God.

Not without a demon.
In his hour of darkness
he made it down that hallway
with the help of others.
I know he helped them, too.

Even after being struck down,
unable to talk, unable to walk,
his eyes were clear as a starlit sky.
I looked into those eyes one day
as I cut up his chicken dinner.

There was no doubt that my Godfather
was still in there, with an awareness
that would make Buddha smile.
Liberation would inevitably come.
When the Father called, he went in peace.

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