In my most recent post Alternative Healing, I mentioned I went to the Seven AM Daily Mass at Mary, Mother of the Church Abbey. I saw my friend Mike M, a local dentist and very active Catholic.  When I came in to the Church in 2010, he led our RCIA ( Rite of Catholic Initiation for Adults) Class. After Mass we talked a bit. He told me he was praying The Rosary for a young man, who had just entered an alcoholism rehabilitation program.  He asked that I pray  The Rosary for this young man.  All in all, it was an unremarkable conversation with a man whose life is about service to God, His Church, and his fellow human beings.

Last night, I was checking my e-mails when one titled In Memoriam caught my eye. Expecting the deceased to be one of  several parishioners I knew to be in ill health, I was astonished to discover that Mike had died.  Driving down to the Evening Mass for Candlemas, he felt ill, pulled off the road and dialed 911. Taken to hospital he died of a massive heart attack, his aorta irreparably damaged.

The old cliches’ took over “You never know”. “He looked fine when I last saw him.”   You know them all. Mike was not quite 70.  He leaves a widow, two children, four grandchildren.  One of my most cherished memories of Mike was of  him leading his grandchildren in Grace before they ate their Happy Meals at McDonald’s one Sunday afternoon. He showed them how to make the Sign of the Cross before the Blessing started.

His life was about doing what matters.  We should all have such clarity and singleness of purpose.

May the souls of the Faithful Departed, especially Mike, by the Mercy of God, rest in Peace.