What can I possibly say about someone who was so much more than a sponsor, so much more than a friend? My heart is filled to overflowing with love for you. You are home with our Lord. How comforting, how inspiring to know that.
Godmother. What is a mother? Someone who loves, unconditionally. Who guides. Who supports. Who directs and listens and calms and sympathizes. Who teaches and corrects and informs and shares. Who gives endlessly of herself. Who praises, uplifts, worries and prays. Who nurtures and protects. And you have been all of these things and more to me and for me. An amazing and humbling gift from God.
I have prayed for you, I am praying for you and I will continue to pray for you. As I also hope, with all confidence and trust, that you are praying for me and all of us whom you have loved here on earth.
Epiphany. Of course. Epiphany. Where the wise men, always seeking truth, left the comfortable familiarity of their homes to follow the light of Christ. We prayed for you from your copy of the Liturgy of the Hours. It was beautiful. I loved it.
As with gladness men of old,
did the guiding star behold,
as with joy they hailed its light,
leading onwards, beaming bright,
son most gracious God, may we
evermore be led to thee.
As with joyful steps they sped
to that lowly manger-bed,
there to bend the knee before
Him whom heaven and earth adore,
so may we with willing feet
ever seek thy mercy-seat.
As they offered gifts most rare
at that manger rude and bare,
so may we with holy joy,
pure, and free from sin’s alloy,
all our costliest treasures bring,
Christ, to thee our heavenly king.
Holy Jesus, every day
keep us in the narrow way;
and, when earthly things are past,
bring our ransomed souls at last
where they need no star to guide,
where no clouds thy glory hide.
In the heavenly country bright
need they no created light;
thou its light, its joy, its crown,
thou its sun which goes not down:
there for ever may we sing
alleluias to our king.
Of course, I had a difficult time finding that hymn from Evening Prayer I of Epiphany again! In the meantime, I re-looked at all of the parts of the Liturgy of the Hours, trying to find it again. I found so many other wonderful things that reminded me of you in some way. Most especially, parts from the reading from Isaiah 60:1-22.
Arise, shine out, for your light has come,
the glory of the Lord is rising on you,
though night still covers the earth
and darkness the peoples.
Above you the Lord now rises
and above you his glory appears.
The nations come to your light
and kings to your dawning brightness.
Lift up your eyes and look round:
all are assembling and coming towards you,
your sons from far away
and your daughters being tenderly carried.
At this sight you will grow radiant,
your heart throbbing and full;
since the riches of the sea will flow to you,
the wealth of the nations come to you;
camels in throngs will cover you,
and dromedaries of Midian and Ephah;
everyone in Sheba will come,
bringing gold and incense
and singing the praise of the Lord.
All the flocks of Kedar will gather inside you,
the rams of Nebaioth will be at your service.
They will come up, for acceptance, to my altar,
to adorn the Temple of my glory.
Who are these flying like a cloud,
like doves to their cote?
Yes, for me the ships are assembling,
vessels of Tarshish in the front,
to bring your sons from far away,
and their silver and gold with them,
for the sake of the name of the Lord your God,
for the sake of the Holy One of Israel who has made you glorious.
Foreigners will rebuild your walls
and their kings will be your servants.
For though I struck you in anger,
in mercy I have pitied you.
And your gates will lie open continually,
shut neither by day nor by night,
for men to bring you the wealth of the nations
with their kings leading them;
for the nation and kingdom that refuses to serve you shall perish,
such nations shall be utterly ruined.
The glory of Lebanon will come to you,
with cypress and plane and box,
to adorn the site of my sanctuary,
to glorify the resting place of my feet.
The sons of your oppressors will come to you bowing,
at your feet shall fall all who despised you.
They will call you ‘City of the Lord’,
‘Zion of the Holy One of Israel.’
Though you have been abandoned,
and hated and shunned,
I will make you an eternal pride,
a joy for ever and ever.
You will be suckled on the milk of nations,
suckled on the riches of kings,
and you shall know that I, the Lord, am your savior,
that your redeemer is the Mighty One of Jacob.
For bronze I will bring gold;
for iron, silver;
and bronze for wood;
and iron for stone;
I will put Peace in as magistrate,
and Integrity as the government.
Violence will no longer be heard of in your country,
nor devastation and ruin within your frontiers.
You will call your walls ‘Salvation’
and your gates ‘Praise.’
No more will the sun give you daylight,
nor moonlight shine on you,
but the Lord will be your everlasting light,
your God will be your splendor.
Your sun will set no more
nor your moon wane,
but the Lord will be your everlasting light
and your days of mourning will be ended.
Your people will all be upright,
possessing the land for ever;
a shoot that the Lord has planted,
my handiwork, designed for beauty.
The least among you will become a clan
and the smallest a mighty nation.
I, the Lord, have spoken;
in due time I shall act with speed.
Thank you, Pat, for sharing yourself with me. You have no idea (or, well, maybe now you do), of just how special and precious a gift you are to me. Give our Lord my love for me, until I can join you both.
I love you!