May 21, 2009

Life and Death

There was a person in my town who has been on my thoughts since the first time I saw him. I've seen this young man twice in passing on my way to work or on my way home. His visage is etched into my thoughts due to the odd resemblance I saw in him with Jesus. His hair is long, yet his face is heavily lined as if he is aged beyond time. I have soon found out that this man is only 52 years old. I don't know this man personally, but from that very first time I saw him, he would occasionally come to mind.

I don't know the reason for it and now even as I write this, his face comes to mind. Why? For what purpose other than prayer. Yesterday on my way to Mass, there were many cars at a small convenience store that I stop at. Except it had nothing to do with the store. This young man lived in one of the apartments. As the day progressed I soon found out that this same man who kept coming to mind had been found in the basement, dead. He had hung himself. Now I wonder, was there something I could have done that I failed to do. Such as speak to this man when twice our paths crossed. Did I fail to reach out and extend the love of Christ to another without realizing it. Did I fail to smile at him, yet on recall I did smile, yet I was silent. Like so many others when we often walk by and don't acknowledge. I was able to offer his death in front of the Blessed Sacrament. Yet it was while he was living those prayers were needed more so, and here too, how often did I pray for him when he came to thought. It's a novel idea that has come to light.

It's called intercessory prayer, when our thoughts give inklings of how to pray and when it is for another soul. Upon this reflection of the brief time from the first encounter of this man to the day he died, I have come to the conclusion that each time he came to thought was a moment where I could and should have said a prayer for him. I wonder if anyone does this when out of the blue our thoughts are of someone specific, do we mentally pray for them then or just think that this person is thinking of us. Is it possible it is exactly those moments when we need to say a prayer for them to help them on their journey through life.

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