Beloved brothers and sisters,
May the Peace of our Lord Jesus be with you and yours. Our Hearts are filled with awe and wonder as we see the Lord working in our lives and the lives of our families. Some of our joy is mixed with sadness as we reflect on the news that some of our dear ones have gone to the Father. As we write the lives of the Saints, we discover the Saint makers who have colored their lives, and consequently have laid a path of roses (sometimes with thorns) for them to tread on their journey to the Father.
Two such Saint makers in our lives, their mission completed, have bid us farewell for now. But oh, how the world will miss them! But if I know them, they will continue touching the faithful’s souls, helping them on their journey to the Kingdom.
Farewell Maggie Moon
It has been eighteen years since we left our loving community of Southern California, but the ties formed there have never left us. Without our knowing it, our community there has been tracing our steps, as we have journeyed in faith all over our dear country and the world, sending us letters sharing with us their joys and their losses. Oh, it is such a joy to see how their families have grown, to learn of the men who have become Permanent Deacons, and the wives who have joined them in their walk to the Lord. One such wife, Maggie Moon, called us one day and inquired about the possibility of our leading a pilgrimage to the Shrines in Europe with her husband and other future deacons in his class. That never came to pass as our dear Maggie suffered a brutal attack by that monster Cancer. But that did not stop her evangelization! She blessed our e-mails and the e-mails of countless others sharing bravely her hopes and her holy resignation to the Father’s Will. She fought a hard, glorious fight to live, with encouragement and hope! Maggie did not want to leave her husband, children and grandchildren, as well as the many friends whose lives she touched. She was a fighter! But she would not fight God and His plan for her.
Maggie’s voice will not be stilled! I’m sure somehow that the lives she touched will never be the same. I know ours will not! Sleep in Peace, dear heart. But if the Lord should touch your brave heart to pray for us and our country which you so loved, we would be so grateful! You will always be in our prayers and our thoughts. Our love and sympathy go out to your dear husband, Deacon Ron and your family.
Two former "damn Yankees" and Westerners become Arkies
Two kids originally from New York, two "damn Yankees" who were transported from New York to California, only to land in the South – and make roots in Arkansas! We came to an area where everyone is a cousin of someone else; I think the expression is “kin.” And their roots go as far as the earliest settlers who were given land in this breathtakingly beautiful countryside. Bob and I never lived in a town of 5600. But we soon discovered we were part of a series of little towns joined by "kin." And our life became an open book! Tell one of our new families something and all from the neighboring towns will know the next day. But with so much love! They accepted us as "Arkies." Oh they know about our being on television, as they all religiously watch EWTN. But to them, we are family!
We love you too Harold Beck
We love you, too Harold Beck! This past week, we lost one of our dearest parishioners who had become family, Harold Beck. Every Sunday or Feast Day Harold would walk over to our pew and whisper, We love you! To which we would respond, with a huge smile, We love YOU!
Harold was one of the special Americans who make me proud to say I am an American. He took outsiders and right from the beginning he made us feel at home. I never knew his name, not until Father Charlie announced how serious his condition had become, and Bob said, “Honey, You know who he is; he is the man who always came over to our pew after Mass and greeted us warmly.” Needless to say we went over to the hospital. I had to – I can’t explain it – I just had an urgency to go to see him, to see this lovable man who, for over eight years, had made us feel as family! We talked and laughed. He introduced us to his daughters, who were there, with: “You watch EWTN, don’t you; well Bob and Penny are on EWTN every week. You should watch them.” His daughters, like Harold and his wife, made us feel right at home. As we were approaching the Hour of Mercy, we suggested we pray the chaplet of Divine Mercy. The day before, at church, we had been told Harold no longer spoke; well he not only spoke, in addition, he did what he did best – he prayed, clearly and distinctly. In approaching death as in life, Harold and his family did not try to keep us there, gently not wishing to impose on us. But what he and they did not know, we did not want to leave! We said we would return the following Monday.
The next day, Saturday, we were in the car returning to home, when I could feel the strong presence of that sweet gentle soul, and I said, “Let us pray the Chaplet of Mercy.” It was 2:57 when we began praying. At the funeral we discovered Harold, with all his family around him, peacefully went to the Father at 3 PM that day.
They were so gentle and unassuming, I did not know how loved they were. I remember praying that Harold get a big sendoff! Well at the Rosary, the night before the funeral, there was standing room only with the chapel filled to over capacity! Usually if there are many at the Rosary, there will not be as many at the funeral Mass. Well, guess what! The church was packed!
We are so proud to be Americans!!
We are so proud to live in a country where love is the strongest emotion, where one can worship God without fear!
Sunday, we became parents to couch potatoes watching the Super Bowl. But the highlight for us was when the players placed their hands on their hearts and pledged allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and sang the Star Spangled Banner, with more than one with tears in their eyes. Our Little naturalized citizen, Luz Elena, as always wept. Oh dear Lord, let that be the only time and reason for her tears
Listen world!! We love our country!! Do not sell us cheap!
“You can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time.
But you cannot fool all the people all of the time!”..Abraham Lincoln
My country tis of thee sweet land of liberty; of thee I sing.
Shout from our majestic mountain tops across the plains and cities.. Look world, we are united.
“United we stand, divided we fall”…from Aesop’s quotes, who was born in 620 BC
Bob and Penny Lord Lent 2009