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The Church serves as a leaven and as a kind of soul for human society as it is to be renewed in Christ and transformed into God's family. [ Gaudium et Soes #40]

My Dad's Funeral

Updated: Oct 31

Some of you have asked that I post the prayer I used at the end of my homily for my dad's funeral. It comes from Cardinal John Newman, a 19th theologian, poet, and educator, who became Roman Catholic (he had been an Anglican priest) and is considered one of the most important theologians of the last 200 years. He was canonized in 2019. He wrote a number of well-known prayers, but the one m y father was most drawn to is below. Interestingly, and unintentionally, the thoughts within the prayer are remarkably similar to the Dearden-Untener prayer that I reproduced in one of the early "Origin Blogs."

God has created me to do Him some definite service; He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another. I have my mission—I never may know it in this life, but I shall be told it in the next.

Somehow I am necessary for His purposes… I have a part in this great work; I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons. He has not created me for naught. I shall do good, I shall do His work; I shall be an angel of peace, a preacher of truth in my own place, while not intending it, if I do but keep His commandments and serve Him in my calling.

Therefore I will trust Him. Whatever, wherever I am, I can never be thrown away. If I am in sickness, my sickness may serve Him; In perplexity, my perplexity may serve Him; If I am in sorrow, my sorrow may serve Him. My sickness, or perplexity, or sorrow may be necessary causes of some great end, which is quite beyond us. He does nothing in vain; He may prolong my life, He may shorten it; He knows what He is about. He may take away my friends, He may throw me among strangers, He may make me feel desolate, make my spirits sink, hide the future from me— still He knows what He is about.… Let me be Thy blind instrument. I ask not to see— I ask not to know—I ask simply to be used.

--Cardinal John Henry Newman


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