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Wednesday, July 11, 2018

God, and the Deaths of Three Men – One Protestant, One Atheist, One Catholic

The first man lived and died here
Three men I knew have died in the past two months - one protestant, one atheist, one Catholic. Each man died as he had lived, his death reflecting like a mirror his earthly life.


The first man to die was the protestant, a lifelong friend from our early teenage years. He was born and raised, then lived and died on the same plot of land in the Blue Ridge Mountains and now lies on a hill in a cemetery half a mile away from where he died of a stroke alone in his home.

He was tall and good looking, smart and successful with a rags to riches sort of life story, good in business but not lucky in love. His face seemed carved out of the very granite of the mountains where he lived his life and his personality had an edge that one was careful not to cross for he could be a hard man. To those whom he loved, he was loyal. They could do no wrong. Except for his wife, and with good cause.

He was a religious man, read his Bible everyday but never really belonged to any church. He said his prayers every night and all he had ever wanted out of life was a wife and children – a family. He married the most beautiful woman in the county and instead of having the children he so wanted, as soon as his wife knew she was pregnant she drove to the nearest large city and had an abortion. 

When she told him what she had done he was furious, angry, crushed, tossed her out of the house, got a lawyer, and divorced her, yet still generously granted her more than half of all they owned. Then he started his life over. He told me once, “You would not believe what she did!”

How did God take this broken saddened good man who so wanted a child and make his life whole again? Several years after the disgraceful betrayal of his wife in murdering their child, God gave him the one great love of his life, a daughter. 

Born late in his life, she was spectacular - beautiful, sweet, intelligent and kind. When she was small she was the most mature child I had ever met. Now she is a young woman, highly intelligent, still sweet and kind, incredibly beautiful and still possesses a maturity beyond her years.

She is the living shining image of God’s perfect justice, mercy and love. A gift to a most deserving man, whatever his faults may have been. He was so proud of his daughter and was careful to educate her, not only in good schools, but in all facets of life as he understood it, decent, good man that he was. She was the last person he talked to before he died. That was on a Saturday afternoon.

On that Sunday morning, May 13th, the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima, he arose from his bed, walked to his couch, sat down and peacefully died of a stroke. In his protestant understanding of the Blessed Mother being only an instrument to get Jesus born, “and that’s all!” he had once expressed anger that I loved her so much. That morning, on Our Lady's Feast Day, he was to meet his beloved Jesus and our glorious Blessed Mother person to person. I knew that he would then understand.

God, in His goodness, did not let him sit there in his deceased state for very long. He had it all prearranged that this man would die on a Sunday morning since every Sunday morning for the past few years a friend would visit. It was this friend who came by a short while later and found him then called the daughter who very maturely planned her father’s wake and funeral, picked out the casket and burial plot and hired the minister. His funeral service was packed with hundreds of the local townspeople who had known and loved this man all their lives. Many tributes were written online on his obituary page, more than one describing him as a "good man".

I cried for weeks and could hear him say, “Girl!” (He never called me by my first name. I was always Girl.) “Girl! Just stop that cryin’.”

Tomorrow's post is the death of the atheist.


Mary Ann Kreitzer said...

What a lovely tribute, Susan. Sounds like someone we would all benefit from knowing, a real man and a man of God.

Leo D. Lion said...

This is why I'm not invited to the party

The Catholic Church has ceased to preach in easily understandable methods, that there is No Salvation Outside of the Catholic Church. This fact is and has been the mainstay of our faith since Christ was on earth. The failure of Catholics to believe and say this simple statement has been the very reason why the Catholic Church is in such difficult times. It is only when when we go back to this fundamental fact of our faith that we can expect any return to the glory of the Catholic Church. Baptism of Blood, Baptism of Desire and Invincible Ignorance belong completely and totally up to God and are never meant to get in the way of the fact that there is no Salvation Outside of the Catholic Church. Too many Saints, Doctors of the Church and past Popes have professed such both ex Cathedra and in personal statements thru all the ages since the beginning of the Catholic Church.

Mary Ann Kreitzer said...

I'm not sure what you mean by your comment, Leo. I too believe that "outside the Church there is no salvation which is why I talk about the faith any time I get an opening. Whenever the Jehovah's Witnesses come to the door I talk about John 6 and the Eucharist. The last time I had visitors it was two fallen away Catholics. I invited them in and we talked for about 45 minutes. You are right that only God can know who is in invincible ignorance. We need to pray and love those who cross our paths enough to share the truth with them. Encouraging people to search for the truth is encouraging their search for the source of all truth. We live in sad times when many clerics in the Church are a stumbling block to people believing the Church is true. We need to counter their scandal by leading holy lives and praying for everyone we touch to be led to Christ and His Church.