PAUSE FOR PRAYER: Thursday 1/21


 A dear friend from years ago sent this gift, Lord:
It arrived as an email attachment,
a black and white digital photo,
Notre Dame's Campus Ministry staff,
circa 1979...

There we are, Lord: Jane in the lower left corner,
Sally to her left, then Fitz in his turtleneck, 
Bill is next with Joe at the top,
then Dan and finally, yours truly...

It's been decades since I've been with these friends, Lord,
but just seeing their faces and writing their names
opens memories of stories and good times shared
- as well as grief for what's lost and past...

You can't bend or fold a digital photo
but this one has the substance of a treasure chest,
filled with more than I can now remember or imagine:
time has padlocked its precious contents
and I've lost the key to all it holds... 
Well, maybe not all of it...  
I do remember hours of meetings, praying together,
Fridays at Bulla Shed, football weekends, the Huddle,
masses in the residence halls, still more meetings,
CCMA in Florida in January, lunches in the dining hall,
the library and Badin offices, smells and bells at Sacred Heart, 
lots of laughter, sometimes tears, misunderstandings,
reconciliations, walks around the lake and campus
growing together, growing apart, saying goodbyes...

But that's just the broad outline, Lord:
I've forgotten so many details, 
so many particulars that made things real,
that filled our happy times with pure joy,
our friendships with real love,
our sad times with compassion,
our shared ministry with your grace,
our mutual patience with heartfelt understanding,
our mission with purpose and conviction,
our days with promise and our nights with trust...

I may have lost the key and forgotten many details
but I do remember clearly:
    at the heart of all we shared, 
    all we did and were together,
    you were there, Lord, always there
and after all these years
you're still there, Lord, still here, still at the heart 
of all that's good and true and precious,
all that's worth remembering and saving,
and treasuring with love, with joy, with tears, 
in prayer...
And perhaps now, Lord, I see
that Jane's photo is the key
and the treasure trove my heart,
finally opening once again, 
after all these many years,
revealing hidden joys
to recall, reclaim and cherish...

Notre Dame Alma Mater by Notre Dame Glee Club



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