Blessed John Henry Newman wrote:
…when a man, in whom dwells His grace, is lying on the bed of suffering, or when he has been stripped of his friends and is solitary, he has, in a peculiar way, tasted of the powers of the world to come, and exhorts and consoles with authority. He who has long been under the rod of God, becomes God’s possession. He bears in his body marks, and is sprinkled with drops, which nature could not provide for him.
So recalled Fr. George W. Rutler today in a Mass in gratitude for the life of Msgr. Eugene Clark, who died a month ago today. His homily was a meditation on a life, on the Cross, on the priesthood, on our fallenness, on Heaven, on angels.
Fr. Rutler concluded:
Some have debated who those angel faces were, but no one who has loved with a Christian heart wonders who they were. They gave us birth, and they taught us, and they laughed with us, and they dined and drank with us, and they mourned with us, and then they left us one by one to go to the Lord who made them. Soon enough it will be our turn to join their long line. While we are still here, in those years left which are mere minutes in eternity’s timeless clock, we can give thanks for those angel faces that smile even when we do not. Among them we think of the one we remember today at Holy Mass, and pray, May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed rest in peace, and light perpetual shine upon them.
Msgr. Clark had a long history as a friend to many at National Review. If you knew him, you’ll want to read it. If you’ve ever heard of him, you’ll want to read it. If you want to close your week with thoughts on life and mercy and building toward eternity, you’ll want to read it in its entirety, here.
R.I.P., Msgr. Clark.