Posted in Words!

February 25, 2019

Dear Felicity,

On this cold and extraordinarily windy day I got over to Little Sisters of the Poor to visit with my Mom. We went together to the daily Mass at 11 am, on the balcony above the chapel at her third floor. We sat side-by-side on a bench and she held my hand throughout. Occasionally she would raise questions really loudly because of her very poor hearing, and I would lean in and whisper into her ear.

Twice into the silence she spoke this fragment of prayer, “…and the wisdom to know the difference.” After a split second I recognized it and later she prayed it again, the same part of the prayer, “…and the wisdom to know the difference.”

She had asked me earlier if Nonie, her sister, my aunt and godmother, was dead. I answered yes and Mom wanted to know how long now, “Sixteen years next month.” Mom was shocked by the distance in time. When I mentioned her prayer to her, she then said, “That was Nonie’s prayer.” And it was. Through her struggle. Through her years along the path of the 12 Steps.

A simple beautiful moment, somehow bringing more together than I can explain.

The Serenity Prayer song

Mom looking at family memories in her brother Peter’s house in Birmingham, England in November 2012
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Author:

A native of the North Shore of Boston, I currently live on Long Island, New York. I worked at Boston College as the Acting Director of The Church in the 21st Century Center until August, 2010 and served until November 2016 as Canon for Formation, and Dean of the George Mercer Jr. School of Theology of the Diocese of Long Island. I am now Rector at the Church of Saint Anselm of Canterbury in Shoreham, New York.

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