Earlier this year I gave a series of Sunday homilies regarding the moral life, spiritual maturity and the Ten Commandments. I said the following in that homily here in this Church.
“Recently I had the experience of looking into the eyes of a person who was well formed and mature in her faith. She was dying of cancer and she told me there were no more treatments available. The end of her life was coming soon. I anointed her with Holy Oil of the Sick. After the anointing I asked her, “How do you feel? What do you think about your death?” She looked me in the eyes and said without any hesitation and told me, “I’m excited!” I didn’t expect that response, but I quickly realized the spiritual maturity of this person. Her disposition was the fruit of a moral life well lived, and well examined. She gave me a lesson that day on the moral life.”
Over the coming weeks I had the opportunity to get to know her better, visiting with her in her home, getting to know Jack and her daughters.
When we visited we shared our belief that we are “Easter People”, people of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. We live our Hope. She lived her Hope in a way that I find rare, but spiritually very mature.
Pope Benedict published a small book called, “Spe Salvi”. That is Latin for St. Paul’s statement from Romans Chapter 8, our second reading today, “For in Hope we were saved.”
In the first reading from Isaiah, we heard,
“They that hope in the LORD will renew their strength, they will soar as with eagles’ wings”
She lived the Catholic Cardinal virtue of Hope. She already knew that in Hope she would be saved.
In the Gospel reading from John we heard,
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me.
In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be.”
When I visited her and her husband I saw their love for one another, and their faith.