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Friday 31 October 2008

Sung Requiem Mass in Toronto-Extraordinary Form

Catholics enter the evening into a holy time of prayer and supplication. No, I'm not referring to trick or treaters and goblins at the door (my house will be dark, thank you) but it is All Hallows Eve; that is the evening before the Feast of All Saints. This is the celebration of the Church Triumphant, those who have gone before us into glory in heaven as they behold the beatific vision of God. November 2 is the Commemoration of the Faithful Departed (All Souls)--the Church Suffering; the Feast of the Dead--the Holy Souls in Purgatory. Here on this side of eternity, we are the Church Militant.

The Toronto Oratory will celebrate a Sung Latin Mass in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite on Saturday, November 1, 2008 at 10:00 AM. This marks the 30th annivesary of the official foundation of the Toronto Oratory. The Oratory at Holy Family Church is located on King Street one block east of Jameson Avenue.

In the calendar for the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite, the Novus Ordo or 1970 Missal, when falling on a Sunday as is the case this year, the Feast of All Souls is celebrated on the Sunday. However, in the traditional calendar used up to 1970 and still applicable for the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, the Feast is transferred to Monday, November 3, it does not supplant a Sunday liturgy.

Under the former indult for the Traditional Latin Mass and now under Summorum Pontificum there have been a few funerals in the usus antiquior or ancient use; and these have been sung with full Gregorian chant. I've sung one and attended two others, all at The Oratory.

On Monday, November 3, there will be a Low Mass for the Day at The Toronto Oratory Church of the Holy Family.

However For the first time in over 40 years, this Monday, November 3, 2008 at 7:30PM a Sung Requiem Mass in the Tridentine or Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite will be celebrated in Toronto for All Souls Day. The Celebrant will be Father Howard Venette, FSSP of the Priestly Fraterity of St. Peter. Father Venette will also celebrate two "Low" Masses as is the custom in the usus antiquior on All Souls Day.

The FSSP was established by Pope John Paul II in 1988 following the illicit epsicopal consecrations of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre of the Society of St. Pius X. Archbishop Thomas Collins has invited the Fraternity to establish and apostolate here in Toronto. Currently, Mass is celebrated Monday to Saturday at Holy Cross Church and Sunday at 1:00 at St. Theresa Shrine Catholic Church in Toronto. For now, these Masses are "Low" or quiet Masses--they are not sung. At some point soon, the Sunday Mass will be a High Mass (Missa Cantata) Altar Boys are being trained and the Schola is being developed by your writer.

The Mass will take place at Holy Cross Catholic Church at the corner of Donlands Road and Cosburn Avenue. Parking can be found on the street and the school yard and the church can be accessed via the Bloor/Danforth subway at the Donlands stop with a short bus ride north.

Vox will be ably assisted in the Schola by three fine gentlemen as we will present the full Gregorian Ordinary, Propers including the Dies Irae and The Absolutions for the Requiem Mass.

Tuesday 28 October 2008

Jews and Early Christians on Abortion

Given the error and distortion of the truth committed by so-called Catholics in the public square here in Canada and now particularly in the United States of America; I found this small blog today which summarizes quite nicely what has always been taught:

Josephus (flourished 75-95 A.D.) “The [Jewish] Law orders all the offspring to be brought up, and forbids women either to cause abortion or to make away with the foetus; a woman convicted of this is regarded as an infanticide, because she destroys a soul and diminishes the race.” (Against Apion, 2.202)

Philo of Alexandria (25 B.C.—A.D. 41) “If a man comes to blows with a pregnant woman and strikes her on the belly and she miscarries, then, if the result of the miscarriage is unshaped and undeveloped, he must be fined both for the outrage and for obstructing the artist Nature in her creative work of bringing into life the fairest of living creatures, man. But, if the offspring is already shaped and all the limbs have their proper qualities and places in the system, he must die, for that which answers to this descriptions is a human being, which he has destroyed in the laboratory of Nature who judges that the hour has not yet come for bringing it out into the light, like a statue lying in a studio requiring nothing more than to be conveyed outside and released from confinement.” (Special Laws III.108-109; cf. Exod 21.22 LXX)

“This ordinance carries with it the prohibition of something else more important, the exposure of infants, a sacrilegious practice which among many other nations, through their ingrained inhumanity, has come to be regarded with complacence. For if on behalf of the child not yet brought to the birth by the appointed conclusion of the regular period thought has to be taken to save it from disaster at the hands of the evil-minded, surely still more true is this of the full-born babe sent out as it were to settle in the new homeland assigned to mankind, there to partake of the gifts of Nature….If the guardians of the children cut them off from these blessings, if at their very birth they deny them all share in them, they must rest assured that they are breaking the laws of Nature and stand self-condemned on the gravest charges, love of pleasure, hatred of men, murder and, the worst abomination of all, murder of their own children. For they are pleasure-lovers when they mate with their wives, not to procreate children and perpetuate the race, but like pigs and goats in quest of the enjoyment which such intercourse gives. Men-haters too, for who could more deserve the name than these enemies, these merciless foes of their offspring? For no one is so foolish as to suppose that those who have treated dishonourably their own flesh and blood will deal honourably with strangers. As to the charges of murder in general and murder of their own children in particular the clearest proofs of their truth is supplied by the parents. Some of them do the deed with their own hands; with monstrous cruelty and barbarity they stifle and throttle the first breath which the infants draw or throw them into a river or into the depths of the sea, after attaching some heavy substance to make them sink more quickly under its weight. Others take them to be exposed in some desert place, hoping, they themselves say, that they may be saved, but leaving them in actual truth to suffer the most distressing fate. For all the beasts that feed on human flesh visit the spot and feast unhindered on the infants, a fine banquet provided by their sole guardians, those who above all others should keep them safe, their fathers and mothers. Carnivorous birds, too, come flying down and gobble up the fragments, that is, if they have not discovered them earlier, for, if they have, they get ready to fight the beasts of the field for the whole carcase. But suppose some passing travelers, stirred by humane feeling, take pity and compassion on the castaways and in consequence raise them up, give them food and drink, and do not shrink from paying all the other attentions which they need, what do we think of such highly charitable actions? Do we not consider that those who brought them into the world stand condemned when strangers play the part of parents, and parents do not behave with even the kindness of strangers? (P117) So Moses then, as I have said, implicitly and indirectly forbade the exposure of children, when he pronounced the sentence of death against those who cause the miscarriage of mothers in cases where the foetus is fully formed…when the child has been brought to the birth it is separated from the organism with which it was identified and being isolated and self-contained becomes a living animal, lacking none of the complements needed to make a human being. And therefore infanticide undoubtedly is murder, since the displeasure of the law is not concerned with ages with a breach of faith to the race. Though indeed, if age had to be taken into consideration, infanticide to my mind gives a greater cause for indignation, for in the case of adults quarrels and differences wupply any number of reasonable pretexts, but with mere babes, who have just passed into the light and the life of human kind, not even a false charge can be brought against such absolute innocence. Therefore those who gird themselves up to conspire against such as these must be judged to be the cruellest and most ruthless of men. The holy law detests them and has pronounced them worthy of punishment.” (Special Laws III.110-119).

Pseudo-Phocylides (50 B.C.—A.D. 50) says that “a woman should not destroy the unborn babe in her belly, nor after its birth throw it before the dogs and vultures as a prey.”

1 Enoch (2nd-1st Cent. B.C.) says that an evil angel taught humans how to “smash the embryo in the womb” (68:18).

Athenagoras “Since this is our character, what man of sound judgment would say that we are murderers? For you cannot eat human flesh until you have killed someone…What reason would we have to commit murder when we say that women who induce abortions are murderers, and will have to give account of it to God? For the same person would not regard the fetus in the womb as a living thing and therefore an object of God’s care, and at the same time slay it, once it had come to life. Nor would he refuse to expose infants, on the ground that those who expose them are murderers of children, and at the same time do away with the child he has reared. But we are altogether consistent in our conduct. We obey reason and do not override it.” (Plea for the Christians, ca. 176-177 A.D.)

Justin Martyr (ca. 100-165 A.D.) “But as for us, we have been taught that to expose newly-born children is the part of wicked men; and this we have been taught lest we should do any one an injury, and lest we should sin against God, first, because we see that almost all so exposed (not only the girls, but also the males) are brought up to prostitution. And as the ancients are said to have reared herds of oxen, or goats, or sheep, or grazing horses, so now we see you rear children only for this shameful use; and for this pollution a multitude of females and hermaphrodites, and those who commit unmentionable iniquities, are found in every nation. And you receive the hire of these, and duty and taxes from them, whom you ought to exterminate from your realm. And any one who uses such persons, besides the godless and infamous and impure intercourse, may possibly be having intercourse with his own child, or relative, or brother. And there are some who prostitute even their own children and wives, and some are openly mutilated for the purpose of sodomy; and they refer these mysteries to the mother of the gods, and along with each of those whom you esteem gods there is painted a serpent, a great symbol and mystery. Indeed, the things which you do openly and with applause, as if the divine light were overturned and extinguished, these you lay to our charge; which, in truth, does no harm to us who shrink from doing any such things, but only to those who do them and bear false witness against us.” (First Apology, 27)

“And again [we fear to expose children], lest some of them be not picked up, but die, and we become murderers. But whether we marry, it is only that we may bring up children; or whether we decline marriage, we live continently.” (First Apology, 29)

Letter to Diognetus “[Christians] marry, as do all [others]; they beget children; but they do not destroy their offspring.” (5; second century A.D.?)

Letter of Barnabas “The way of light, then, is as follows. If anyone desires to travel to the appointed place, he must be zealous in his works. The knowledge, therefore, which is given to us for the purpose of walking in this way, is the following…Thou shalt not slay the child by procuring abortion; nor, again, shalt thou destroy it after it is born.” (19:5; ca. 75-100 A.D.).

Apocalypse of Peter “And near that place I saw another strait place . . . and there sat women. . . . And over against them many children who were born to them out of due time sat crying. And there came forth from them rays of fire and smote the women in the eyes. And these were the accursed who conceived and caused abortion” (25; ca. 135 A.D.)

Didache (i.e., the so-called “Teaching of the Twelve Apostles”) “And the second commandment of the Teaching; You shall not commit murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not commit pederasty, you shall not commit fornication, you shall not steal, you shall not practice magic, you shall not practice witchcraft, you shall not murder a child by abortion nor kill that which is born.” (Didache 2:2; ca. 100 A.D.?)

Minucius Felix “And now I should wish to meet him who says or believes that we are initiated by the slaughter and blood of an infant. Think you that it can be possible for so tender, so little a body to receive those fatal wounds; for any one to shed, pour forth, and drain that new blood of a youngling, and of a man scarcely come into existence? No one can believe this, except one who can dare to do it. And I see that you at one time expose your begotten children to wild beasts and to birds; at another, that you crush them when strangled with a miserable kind of death. There are some women who, by drinking medical preparations, extinguish the source of the future man in their very bowels, and thus commit a parricide before they bring forth. And these things assuredly come don from the teaching of your gods. For Saturn did not expose his children, but devoured them.…Among the Persians, a promiscuous association between sons and mothers is allowed. Marriages with sisters are legitimate among the Egyptians and in Athens. Your records and your tragedies, which you both read and hear with pleasure, glory in incest: thus also you worship incestuous gods, who have intercourse with mothers, with daughters, with sisters. With reason, therefore, is incest frequently detected among you, and is continually permitted. Miserable men, you may even, without knowing it, rush into what is unlawful: since you scatter your lusts promiscuously, since you everywhere beget children, since you frequently expose even those who are born at home to the mercy of others, it is inevitable that you must come back to your own children, and stray to your own offspring. Thus you continue the story of incest, even although you have no consciousness of your crime. But we maintain our modesty not in appearance, but in our heart we gladly abide by the bond of a single marriage; in the desire of procreating, we know either one wife, or none at all.” (Octavius, 30-31a; ca. 160-300 A.D.)

The Sibylline Oracles (80-250 A.D.? Thought Christian, but possibly Jewish) includes among the wicked two groups: women who “produce abortions and unlawfully cast their offspring away” and sorcerers who dispense abortifacients (II.345).

Clement of Alexandria “Our whole life can go on in observation of the laws of nature, if we gain dominion over our desires from the beginning and if we do not kill, by various means of a perverse art, the human offspring, born according to the designs of divine providence; for these women who, in order to hide their immorality, use abortive drugs which expel the matter completely dead, abort at the same time their human feelings…Abortion is killing human life that is under God’s care, design and providence.” (Clement of Alexandria, Paedagogus 2.10, ca. 190-200 A.D.)

Tertullian "In our case, a murder being once for all forbidden, we may not destroy even the fetus in the womb, while as yet the human being derives blood from the other parts of the body for its sustenance. To hinder a birth is merely a speedier man-killing; nor does it matter whether you take away a life that is born, or destroy one that is coming to birth. That is a man which is going to be one; you have the fruit already in its seed" (Apology 9:8; ca. 200).

“Among surgeons’ tools there is a certain instrument, which is formed with a nicely-adjusted flexible frame for opening the uterus first of all and keeping it open; it is further furnished with an annular blade, by means of which the limbs [of the child] within the womb are dissected with anxious but unfaltering care; its last appendage being a blunted or covered hook, wherewith the entire fetus is extracted by a violent delivery… There is also [another instrument in the shape of] a copper needle or spike, by which the actual death is managed in this furtive robbery of life: they give it, from its infanticide function, the name of embruosphaktes, [meaning] ‘the slayer of the infant,’ which of course was alive…They all knew well enough that a living being had been conceived, and pitied this most luckless infant state, which had first to be put to death, to escape being tortured alive… Now we allow that life begins with conception because we contend that the soul also begins from conception; life taking its commencement at the same moment and place that the soul does.” (The Soul 25, 27; 210 A.D.).

“The law of Moses, indeed, punishes with due penalties the man who shall cause abortion [Ex. 21:22–24]" (The Soul, 37 A.D.).

Hippolytus of Rome “Women who were reputed to be believers began to take drugs to render themselves sterile, and to bind themselves tightly so as to expel what was being conceived, since they would not, on account of relatives and excess wealth, want to have a child by a slave or by any insignificant person. See, then, into what great impiety that lawless one has proceeded, by teaching adultery and murder at the same time!” (Refutation of All Heresies, 9.7 ca. 228 A.D.).

Basil the Great (329-379 A.D.) “Although keeping parrots and curlus, pagans do not adopt an orphaned child. Rather they expose children who are born at home. And yet they take up the young of birds. And so they prefer irrational creatures to rational ones…Fathers, forgetting about the children they have exposed, unknowingly have intercourse with a son who has debauched himself or with daughters who are prostitutes.”

"She who has deliberately destroyed a fetus has to pay the penalty of murder. The hairsplitting difference between formed and unformed makes no difference to us....Here it is not only the child to be born that is vindicated, but also the woman herself who made an attempt against her own life, because usually the women die in such attempts. Furthermore, added to this is the destruction of the child, another murder... Moreover, those, too, who give drugs causing abortion are deliberate murderers themselves, as well as those receiving the poison which kills the fetus." (Letter 188:2)

Council of Ancyra "Concerning women who commit fornication, and destroy that which they have conceived, or who are employed in making drugs for abortion, a former decree excluded them until the hour of death, and to this some have assented. Nevertheless, being desirous to use somewhat greater leniency, we have ordained that they fulfill ten years [of penance], according to the prescribed degrees" (Canon 21; 314 A.D.).

Synod of Elvira (Spain, 306 A.D.) “If a woman becomes pregnant by committing adultery, while her husband is absent, and after the act she destroys the child, it is proper to keep her from communion until death, because she has doubled her crime.” (Canon 63).

John Chrysostom "Wherefore I beseech you, flee fornication. . . . Why sow where the ground makes it its care to destroy the fruit?—where there are many efforts at abortion?—where there is murder before the birth? For even the harlot you do not let continue a mere harlot, but make her a murderess also. You see how drunkenness leads to prostitution, prostitution to adultery, adultery to murder; or rather to a something even worse than murder. For I have no name to give it, since it does not take off the thing born, but prevents its being born. Why then do thou abuse the gift of God, and fight with his laws, and follow after what is a curse as if a blessing, and make the chamber of procreation a chamber for murder, and arm the woman that was given for childbearing unto slaughter? For with a view to drawing more money by being agreeable and an object of longing to her lovers, even this she is not backward to do, so heaping upon thy head a great pile of fire. For even if the daring deed be hers, yet the causing of it is thine" (Homilies on Romans 24; 391 A.D.).

Ambrose of Milan (339 to 397 A.D.) The poor expose their children, the rich kill the fruit of their own bodies in the womb, lest their property be divided up, and they destroy their own children in the womb with murderous poisons. and before life has been passed on, it is annihilated."

Jerome (347-420 A.D.)** "I cannot bring myself to speak of the many virgins who daily fall and are lost to the bosom of the Church, their mother. . . . Some go so far as to take potions, that they may insure barrenness, and thus murder human beings almost before their conception. Some, when they find themselves with child through their sin, use drugs to procure abortion, and when, as often happens, they die with their offspring, they enter the lower world laden with the guilt not only of adultery against Christ but also of suicide and child murder" (Letters 22:13, 396 A.D.).

“…seeds are gradually formed in the uterus, and it is not reputed homocide until the scattered elements receive their appearance and members.” (Epistle 121.4 to Algasa)

Augustine (354-430 A.D.)** “Sometimes, indeed, this lustful cruelty, or if you please, cruel lust, resorts to such extravagant methods as to use poisonous drugs to secure barrenness; or else, if unsuccessful in this, to destroy the conceived seed by some means previous to birth, preferring that its offspring should rather perish than receive vitality; or if it was advancing to life within the womb, should be slain before it was born.” (De Nube et Concupiscentia 1.17 [15])

Here the question of the soul is usually raised: whether what is not formed can be understood to have no soul, and whether for that reason it is not homocide, because one cannot be said to be deprived of a soul if one has not yet received a soul. The argument goes on to say, “But if it has been formed, he shall give soul for soul”….If the embryo is still unformed, but yet in some way ensouled while unformed…the law does not provide that the act pertains to homocide, because still there cannot be said to be a live soul in a body that lacks sensation, if it is in the flesh not yet formed and thus not yet endowed with senses.” (“On Exodus 21:22″ CSEL 8:147)

**NB re: Jerome and Augustine: The Greek version of Exodus 21:22-24 is highly relevant here (and the Greek version of the Old Testament, often called the Septuagint, was the Bible for most early Christians -- as well as Jews! -- in the ancient world, including the writers of the New Testament documents). A translation of Exod 21:22-24 reads:

“And if two men strive and smite a woman with child, and her child be born imperfectly formed, he shall be forced to pay a penalty; as the woman’s husband may lay upon him, he shall pay with a valuation. But if it be perfectly formed, he shall give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.”

Friday 24 October 2008

Celebrating a Treasure of the Faith

From Toronto's Catholic Register

Celebrating a treasure of the faith
Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Contemplating the young Catholics I know who love the Traditional Latin Mass and are joining traditional religious orders, I think that it is too bad that the bishops did not take the careful conservational approach chosen by the curators of this 17th-century house. As weird modern sanctuaries in beautiful old churches attest, it is certainly difficult to reverse extreme makeovers. There is no doubt that some liturgical windows had to be opened. (My head cold testifies that some innovations — like central heating — are necessary for human flourishing.) But sometimes it seems that we have destroyed timeless rituals for a 1970s ethos that is as out of date as burnt-orange shag carpeting. Nevertheless, the old liturgical treasures of the faith remain, and I believe that those born after 1980 will restore them.

Recommend this article...

Dorothy Cummings

About the author:

Dorothy Cummings is a Toronto-based writer. She has an MA in English literature from the University of Toronto and an M.Div./STB from Regis College. She is currently on leave from doctoral studies in theology at Boston College.

Thursday 16 October 2008

A Widow who sought the "Pearl of Great Price"

+ Martha Joan Stephen Domet +
August 15, 1915 - October 16, 2006


Two years ago today, in her 92nd year, my mother was called home to the LORD. She was a woman of great faith in God and taught many lessons to all those who came into contact with her. This was especially true in her last few years. She suffered the loss of her first grandson and then her first son from cancer and bore much physical suffering with faith, trust and humility.

Today, October 16 according to the calendar for the usus antiquior or the Traditional Latin Mass calendar is the Feast of St. Hedwig a medieval Polish duchess who died on October 14, 1243. She was also maternal aunt of St. Elizabeth of Hungary, incidentally my maternal grandmother's name. So it was then for me a serendipitous moment when at the Mass the Epistle was read from the First Letter of Blessed Paul the Apostle to Timothy:

Dearly beloved: Honour widows that are widows indeed. But if any widow have children, or grandchildren, let her learn first to govern her own house, and to make a return of duty to her parents: for this is acceptable before God. But she that is a widow indeed, and desolate, let her trust in God and continue in supplications and prayers night and day. For she that liveth in pleasures is dead while she is living. And this give in charge, that they may be blameless. But if any man have not care of his own, and especially of those of his house, he hath denied the faith and is worse than an infidel. Let a widow be chosen of no less than threescore years of age, who hath been the wife of one husband having testimony for her good works, if she have brought up children, if she have received to harbour, if she have washed the saints' feet, if she have ministered to them that suffer tribulation, if she have diligently followed every good work.

The Gospel was the parable about the "pearl of great price." Martha spent her life auctioning all for that pearl. I believe she found it.

A few days before she died we had a conversation and she told me that she was ready to go whenever God was to call her. Often we hear or read of those things that are “unexplained” except by coincidence, of course. To those who know and love God, “there are no coincidences.” Not even the fact that the Epistle read today is one of two from the "Common of Holy Women."

And so, that day started like many others. I woke my son for school, I got ready for work and before dashing out the door and bidding her adieu the home care girl was there to help her get ready for the day and stay with her whilst I was at work.

At around 1:00 PM the second girl arrived for the shift-change. As Bridget arrived she came into the family room. My mother had only moments earlier complained of difficulty breathing and then closed her eyes. Bridget yelled out her name, “Martha, Martha!” and gently slapped her. She stirred and let out a breath.

At that moment, Martha died.

I got the call at work and on the way home it was clear from speaking to the paramedics that she was gone. They were working on her with adrenalin and the heart paddles but were not having any success. I spoke to Bridget and told her that a priest from the local parish was on his way (the Sacrament of the Sick, what we used to call Extreme Unction had already been administered by one of her faithful Oratorian Priests a few weeks earlier.) I asked Bridget to go to my mother’s bedroom and retrieve the sick visit Crucifix from the wall above her bed. (This is a Crucifix which slides off and is placed in a stand; on either side are then candle holders and some of the necessary items for the Sacrament).

When I arrived my mother’s eyes were open and she was semi-conscious. Father Greg arrived a few moments later and anointed her. She was transported to “St. Joe’s” where my father also died, and we removed the medical intervention around 5:00 PM. Just after 8:00 I went outside for some air and a few minutes later my sister came to get me that our mother had died. She had just gone out of the room to the Nurses desk to make a phone call. My sister was not out of the room a half-minute and no more than 5 metres away and mother passed. It was like she could not let herself go whilst we were with her.

So, what does this have to do with coincidence?

The next day I called Bridget and asked her to stay on for a few more days to be at the house to tidy and answer the phone and assist with guests. Bridget was quite upset to be sure. She had been with my mother daily for the last year and often spoke of how well she was always treated and “their little talks.” She came to me with apprehension that she really needed to talk to me about something.

The paramedics, with all of their intervention, “brought her back.” It took 14 minutes from the time they began to get a pulse. What was disturbing Bridget was that there was no reaction to their work; nothing, until my car screeched in the driveway.

“I have a pulse!” exclaimed the paramedic. It was simultaneous with the screeching of my tires.

But there is more.

Bridget was shaking and in tears.

“David, I had a dream Sunday night," my mother having died on Monday.

She went on to say that she had typically forgotten the dream until she went to my mother’s bedroom to get the Crucifix. Upon seeing Jesus on the Cross the dream came back to her for just a moment. Again, it was gone. The house after all was a mass of confusion, police, fire-fighters, the paramedics, and eventually me, and the Priest; Bridget was now a bystander.

After we left for the hospital, Bridget was alone and tidying up and it was what happened then that she was so desperate to tell me.

At a singular moment in time something happened that she will never forget. Nor will I.

Bridget recalled for me her dream.

“I was standing on a street-corner in small town with other people. We were laughing at this man dressed in a robe and with long-hair. He said his name was Jesus and we were making fun of him. Just then a young beautiful woman stepped off of the curb and started to cross the street; she turned around and looked at us, she had tears in her eyes, tears of overwhelming joy, she was happy, really happy. It was then that Jesus took her hand and walked across the road with her.”
That was Bridget’s dream.

She went on to say that when she woke up from it she was aware that she needed to be more like the woman who walked across the street. That she needed to have “more faith in Jesus.”

I told her that it seemed like a pretty plausible conclusion.

“Wait” Bridget said, “There is more.”

I waited and listened as she started to cry.

“David, I remembered the dream only for a moment when carrying the Cross.”

“When I was tidying up I put the Cross on the end-table over there.”

“Yes, it looks nice there” I replied.

“No, David, you don’t understand, the picture, the picture beside the Cross.”

“Yes, Bridget, what is it?”

“That picture of your mother at graduation.” Bridget started to cry.

“It was her; she was the girl in my dream.”