the heavens open…


i see the empty body

requiem-vested in white;

he has left us for Another.


hidden behind wary lids,

salty mix of sorrow and joy;

a love i cannot explain.


i’ll be alone, i’d thought,

no one will understand

this hole in my heart.


church walls gather us close.

we weep, we hug, we laugh.

and share our holy hearts.


how did i not see it before –

this communion of life

that surrounds me?


praised be God

in our Lord Jesus Christ

for all His good gifts.


alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

the heavens open

and he enters the eternal Joy.


amen. amen.


On January 21, 2018, my very dear friend and pastor of 38 years left behind his ailing body to enter the presence of God. Loving us to the end, he crossed over as, we, his people, prayed for him in Eucharistic celebration. May he live forever in the fullness of our Father’s love.

4 thoughts on “the heavens open…

  1. albert

    I was going to ask about him, Mary, praying that the barriers had been let down. Now, in a way we don’t fully understand but know nevertheless, they have . A seemingly empty peace may be left, but his presence is too, i believe.
    Thank you for allowing us to join in the mystery of God’s presence in human relationships which do not die .

  2. mary Post author

    Thanks, Al. I wrote this last night after spending 2.5 hours at his wake – which was the coming together of an amazing collection of people, some of whom I had not seen in decades. The Sunday after Thanksgiving, I was blessed to see Mark very briefly. Just enough time to hug him and tell him that I loved him, one more time. I am so grateful…

  3. mtmcn

    Dear Mary,

    Thank you for this beautiful poem. Visiting St Pat’s always felt like a homecoming to me and Fr. Mark’s presence was reassuring in a way. He was a man faithful to his calling who felt blessed to be at St. Patrick’s all these years. I understand now how beloved he was.

    I hope that you find comfort in sharing memories of him.

    In peace,

    Mary Therese


  4. mary Post author

    Thanks, Mary Therese.
    After attending the funeral yesterday – which was very beautiful – I came to realize that the love is much greater than all of us. It is much greater than Mark, greater than the huge crowd of mourners gathered.
    Mark printed the Peace Prayer (attributed to St. Francis) in the bulletin every week, “Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace…” It seems that God answered his prayer and made him His instrument – and is doing the same for all of us, if only we ask.
    This is our hope and our joy. If we rely only on our human loves, we will find ourselves much disappointed.

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