Friday, August 22, 2014

"You're one of my kind"

This past Monday the mother of a friend of mine who took his own life back in June, contacted me about about some things of his she thought I might be interested in, or for which I might have a use. The items were two statues and book.

The statues are of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St Thérèse of Lisieux. I was able to give the statue of Our Blessed Mother to a friend who passed through some dire straits a several years ago. I was able to give it to her today, on the Feast of the Queenship of Mary. This lovely friend has not only survived, but is positively thriving. Seeing her thrive does me so much good, especially when confronted with the suicide of someone who seemed to have so much going for him. Both of these friends are truly lovely and loving people. I am not going to go a digression concerning suicide from the perspective of Catholic morality, Why? Because I have already done that (see "Judging someone who commits suicide").

Since it is a very heavy garden statue, I am putting the Little Flower in one of our gardens as a way to memorialize my friend and to insure that I remember to pray for him, especially seeking the intercession of the Little Flower on his behalf. She always longed to be a missionary.

Our Blessed Mother (l) and St. Thérèse of Lisieux (r)

The book I inherited was one that my friend bought at my urging and that played a pivotal role in his return to practicing the Catholic faith and completing his Christian initiation by receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation: Matthew Kelly's Rediscovering Catholicism: A Spiritual Guide to Living with Passion and Purpose. It was in Kelly's fine book that I read- "Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things. Hope is one of those things that you can't buy, but that will be freely given to you if you ask. Hope is the one thing people cannot live without. Hope is a thing of beauty."

Late last week as I was poking around the website of the U.K.'s Catholic Herald newspaper (the U.K. equivalent perhaps of the National Catholic Register) I came across an article about a most interesting person: Simone Lia, a Catholic artist and author. In this article, in which she describes her journey back to the faith, she tells of the role the INXS song "Need You Tonight" played in that return
It was June 2007 and Simone Lia was on her way to home to pray. She was mulling over a recent romance which had abruptly ended via email. “So I was thinking: ‘I’m really going to go home and pray about this,‘and have this out with God’,” she recalls, “But then I thought: ‘No, I can’t even wait until I get home.’ So I kind of did it there and then in Leicester Square. I was fed up and I was doing that thing when you blame God.”

Eventually, it dawned on Lia, as she “ranted and raved” at God, that the music pulsating through the bar walls was familiar. “It was an INXS song, ‘Need You Tonight’. I used to like them when I was younger and I was listening to the lyrics. I felt that God was speaking to me through the lyrics, which is a bit ridiculous.

“I was really lost in the moment and I was having a little dance in Leicester Square. I felt like I was dancing with God and he was there.

“Anyway, after that happened the song finished and I felt in my self a sense that I needed to have this adventure with God. I had a sort of vision in my mind of the pages of a book flicking, and it was the book that I ended up writing. I saw it in my mind’s eye and I felt so inspired to try and have this adventure with God, and to record it all as a graphic novel”
This resonated with me because, quite apart from those who are so dismissive of everything and anything that emanates from contemporary culture, I have these kinds of experiences quite frequently, perhaps not as ecstatic and explicit as the one Simone describes, but certainly real.

A panel from Lia's book Please God, Find Me a Husband

You might've guessed our Friday traditio for this week is INXS' "Need You Tonight." It bears noting that Michael Hutchence, the lead singer and frontman for INXS took his own life back in November 1997.

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