In this life there are many things to prepare for, but the most important is for our entrance into the kingdom of heaven. I will take you with me, should you want to come along, on my personal journey to the door which will lead to eternity, through which every soul must pass. Where the angel of death waits to ask the all important question, "Are you prepared for the Kingdom?"

My Photo
Location: Anacortes, Washington, United States

Two years ago I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. I was one of the fortunate ones who survived surgery along with chemo/radiation treatments. Recently, it was discovered that the cancer had returned and although I am again on chemotherapy, in all probability I have perhaps one more year to live. During these last months I would like to share what I have learned about the most important thing we'll ever do in this life and that is, prepare for the kingdom of God.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Two Years

Today dawned cool and clear. Much cooler, in fact, than I would expect on the first day of summer in this usually torrid time of year. That's why I think Laura is praying for us again. Last year on this day it quite unexpectedly rained, as you can read in my last post.

I asked the Lord for a word from Scripture, a word from Laura that He would permit to be given through the word of God, so that I could have no further questions about her eternal happiness. Maybe I expect to have a vision of her in glory before I stop wondering about the mystery of death and the afterlife! Despite my confidence in her salvation, I still tend to look for confirmations. Well, I received one, along with a mild reproach, to the effect that I should have known by now: "Take heart; it is I. Have no fear... O man of little faith, why did you doubt?" (Mt. 14:27, 31). There's actually much more to it than that, and it is published in greater detail on my own blog. Click here to read the full account.

There's something else that happened today, which makes me think she was with us in our Liturgy in the church, and that she was praying for a certain man, a friend of ours whom she befriended during her several visits here at the monastery. During the prayers after Holy Communion, he was so moved by God's grace that he began to weep, which had never happened before. His wife told me later: "I've been waiting 30 years for that to happen."

So I think Laura continues to do good from Heaven as she said she wanted to. I don't have much more to say now. I just wanted to mark the anniversary. I think she's praying for me too, as this "Year for Priests" has just begun in the Church. The graces have been almost palpable these first three days. The loss of a loved one is a cause for sorrow, yet the heavenly intercession of a departed loved one is a cause for joy.

Abbot Joseph