Our Friends, the Saints
Friendship is one of the deepest joys we can know. The love and support of friends comes in many ways – from spouses, in our family and from the people who know to whom we come close. They give us joy and pleasure in good times and help us face pain and sorrow that could cripple us. Our experience of friendship is not confined to those here with us on earth. Those who have died continue to love us still. I experienced this somewhat dramatically a few years ago. Without realising it, I had developed a serious heart condition. The local medicos were wonderful…but nothing was showing up on tests. I felt worse and worse till I prayed to Sr Joan, a member of my community, who had passed away the previous year. We had lived together for 12 years and developed a deep friendship. From the bottom of my heart, I asked, ‘O Joan, please sort this out.’ Within 24 hours I was in Brisbane, a few hours later having an angiogram. During this, I felt I was dying but I was calm: Joan was with me, more real than if she had been sitting there. I lived. The relief of the stent was that dramatic but more dramatic was the loving presence that had been with me. Thank you, Joan.
Sr Joan is one of my personal saints. Last year, I added my youngest brother to the company of saints who care for me. A consolation I have in my grief is that he is now full of joy, free of pain, and caring for his family, with even more love than he showed here on earth. Love and friendship only have their beginnings here. They will continue in heaven…and I look forward to that. You all have your own personal saints who continue to care for you. They are the people who have known and loved you over the years – your grandparents and friends, work colleagues and, perhaps even especially a child, who have died. They watch over us, caring and loving us. They are with us and we need to take the time to sit and bask in their love. Next Sunday, the Church celebrates the Feast of All Saints. This is our time to delight in our friends, our saints.
Loving God, I thank you for the people who have loved me through my life. Let me appreciate how much care my departed loved ones have for me and let me delight in speaking to them of our love and of my need. I ask this in Jesus’ name, confident that you will hear me.
Sr Kym Harris osb