Spirituality for Today – Winter 2021 – Volume 25, Issue 2


Rev. Raymond Petrucci

Are you in the Will? Do you have an inheritance coming your way? If so, does the Will contain any conditions regarding your qualifications to become an heir? Most often, we would receive a bequest from a loved one or a friend in a straightforward manner. Whether or not we are pleased depends on our hopes or expectations or, sometimes, the element of surprise. In Eucharistic Prayer II, we pray that we may be "co-heirs" of the kingdom. As children of God through baptism, we are in the Will. Now, consider what our bequest is and how we are to respond to what the Lord bestows on us. In the prayer of Saint Michael the Archangel, we pray for protection from the one who seeks the ruin of souls. We receive the gift of salvation of our for our souls; a dearly won bequest from the Savior. The joy of eternal life in God's love is a goal longed for in the depth of our souls. Our response to this inheritance is crafted in our daily lives. Throughout our days on earth, the task of growing in holiness, the work of fashioning our character by our faith in Christ reveals our receptiveness. The Church, the living Body of Christ, is a supportive community of faith for each one of us as we journey along the way. All the saints pray for our success. The Lord is our Savior, but he is also our Judge. Facing that day will tell the tale of our authenticity as Christians, as Jesus looks into our hearts he should find one contrite and filled with the hope of Christ's mercy as well as a love so full that it unifies the Savior with the saved – a true Communion.

O Lord, support us all the day long of this troublous life, until the shadows lengthen, and the evening comes, and the busy world is hushed, and the fever of life is over, and our work is done. Then in thy mercy grant us a safe lodging, and a holy rest, and peace at the last forever.

Saint John Henry Newman

The Didache is a collection of works ancient Christian writers. In the early Second Century A.D., among them is a work known as The Epistle to Diognetus, a prominent Christian wrote this catechetical exposition of the Church to an individual named Diognetus who may have been a fictional character or the Emperor Hadrian who was called by that nickname commonly. From The Epistle of Diognetus in The Didache: "They reside in their respective countries, but only as aliens. They take part in everything as citizens and put up with everything as foreigners. Every foreign land is their home, and every home a foreign land. They marry like all others and beget children, but they do not expose their offspring. Their board they spread for all, but not their bed. They find themselves in the flesh, but do not live according to the flesh. They spend their days on earth, but their citizenship is in heaven." The Didache, written nineteen hundred years ago, contained what might be considered the earliest catechism of Apostolic teaching. The great creed of the Councils of Nicea and Chalcedon were two centuries in the future. The ancient writers either knew some of the Apostles or learned from those who did. Thus, our inheritance is rooted deeply in the teaching of Our Lord and those whom he sent into the world.

The late Archbishop Richard Cushing of Boston spoke to reporter about an event that changed his life. He was sixteen years old in the winter of 1912, he was struggling as a student in the Jesuit high school he attended. In a letter from the Prefect of Studies, the priest suggested that perhaps young Richard was not meant for college. That night, riding home with his father on a streetcar, his father told his son that he should strive to do the best he could because it is all that God asks of him. These words of encouragement were followed by the advice to "Carry on, Son." He reminded him that God will do the rest. If we wish to receive the inheritance that God intends for us, let us "carry on" as God's faithful have done for two thousand years.