There is lots I would like to share with you today, but I want to concentrate on one thing in particular. I was introduced to a new friend by an old friend today. I was visiting my old friend, Teddy, in Winston-Salem North Carolina. She helps out at a hospital and had told me about one of her young friends who is 9 yrs. old and who has been fighting serious cancer for some time now. It is just a matter of time but Vinny is made of tough stuff and is fighting, although his maybe 30 pounds isn't much to fight with. I really wanted to talk to him today but he just came back from two very exhausting procedures when we were there and he really wasn't in shape to talk or listen, so I am using this Blog to give him my message, e.g. what I wanted to tell him.
Your good friend, Teddy, told me about you some time ago and I have been keeping you in my prayers and have asked a lot of my friends to join in supporting you in your battle against that mean cancer with all of our prayers.
You know, Vinny, you may find it hard to believe but you are very very special in God's eyes. You are one of his really special children. Our loving God sent you here among us for a very special reason, for a job that no one else could do. Since you have come here to be with us, you have touched so many people's lives and have showed them what real courage is, and have taught them to stop thinking so much of themselves and to think of others. Your mom, because of you, and because of her love for you, and because of what you have taught her, has done marvelous things in reaching out to other people which, I am sure, she would never have thought of doing if God had not given you to her as one of his very special children.
I know that it is very hard and painful sometimes, like Jesus, God's son whom he sent to us for a very special job too. But, Holy Moses, all the good things that have come because of you, and all the people that you have touched, in such a short time, is really amazing.
I am so happy that I at least had a chance to shake your hand as a new friend. I thank God for giving us the gift of your presence among us ever though you are very young. When God calls you to go back home with God, we will really miss you, but we will never forget you and we will never forget how special you were for us and how much we learned from you being with us. We thank God for borrowing you to us and promise that even when you go back to be with your God, we will continue to live all that you have taught us, especially, how to love and appreciate the gift of life that is so fragile and that can go away, also, very quickly before you even know it.
So, thank you, Vinny, even for those few minutes that we had a chance to spend together and thanks too to your mom who loves you so much and let me share those few minutes with you.
When we celebrate Christmas this year, we will not only remember the great gift that God gave us when he sent us his Son Jesus, the greatest gift of all, but we will also remember that along with the gift of Jesus, he also sent us you as his very special gift to be with us and share a few years with us.
Many blessings on you this Christmas and on your family and friends. Your new friend, Father Cas, from Africa.
And for the rest of you, I was really touched by this lovely story that was told at the funeral of Sr. Bridget in Reading Pennsylvania. There was this beautiful sailing ship, with tall masts and huge sails. Some of our friends were on the ship to take a trip and we were on the dock waving goodbye. The ship pushed off and went out into the sea and we watched and watched and watched and the ship got smaller and smaller and smaller until is was just a dot on the horizon and finally, even the dot disappeared. Then we all said, " Well, they're gone now!"
But, on the other side of the horizon, there were people who were watching the horizon and they saw this little speck way out there on the horizon. Little by little the speck grew and grew and grew until it was a beautiful sailing ship. And the people on the shore were jumping up and down with joy saying " Here they come. WELCOME HOME!"
The one who told the story reminded us that horizons have limits. So you have to see horizons from both sides. But life is forever.
Have a very blessed Christmas, more than just a happy holiday, as the saying goes. May you be richly blessed by the re-entrance on the one who is gift, life, love, into your hearts again this Christmas to get you ready for the challenges that are going to confront each of you this year, and me too. Love and Peace, your brother Cas.