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Friday, November 19, 2010

letter from afghanistan

he sent it this morning.  my dad printed it up and read it as a eulogy at jedi's funeral mass.

Blessed Liz,
I am so grateful for your example and love, your faith and your trust.  Many speak of the heroism it takes to come to Afghanistan, particularly in these circumstances; but throughout these last two months and more, you and Chris have been the heroes to me.  Thank you for the witness you allowed yourself to be to so many.  It is so easy (and so much more desirable at times I think) to want to just close the door and take care of one's own life and responsibilities.  I feel that pull over here so many do suffer the lack of faith in their lives, and the guidance it brings--but I struggle myself just being away from you all.  Yet the Lord has called us and put us in a place and time that allows us the choice--will we take up our cross and be raised up, or will we succumb to the selfish urges to hole away and hide, and nurse our wounds in selfish resentment?
Thank you for the choice and the statement of life you have made--not in contrast to abortion, but in contrast to the carelessness and sterility with which the handicapped are treated, especially when their viability hangs in the balance.  Please God many will find your blogs and your story and renew their thoughts of purpose and meaning to life, and begin treating others in their lives with dignity and beauty.  I cannot wait to walk with you on January 21 in Atlanta.  God bless and keep you in the calm and peace of His heart and hand!
As you move through this time, though you have already had the opportunity to plan so much and prepare in advance, I do not believe that you can ever prepare for the pain of the loss of a loved one, because we don't really know how deep the love we have is until we lose them....and as C.S. Lewis said, "The pain now is a part of the love then; the minute we choose to love, we choose the pain."  So it is in direct proportion.  And though St. Paul says, "We do not grieve as those who have no hope", he does not say "we do not grieve"--just not as those who have no hope.  You will be graced, as you have been, in order to bear this cross--but cross it may yet be.  When its weight and burden catch you, when the pain of the wound surprises you and you feel the rush of sorrow, know that it is not contrary to faith any more than love is contrary to faith--but in the midst of the hurt and the tears, cling to the promise of faith, the promise of the Resurrection!
I love you so much Liz!
I continue to offer prayers on you and Chris's, and the kids behalf.  Know that you are loved so much from over here--and I cannot wait to see you soon!  Hugs and more hugs!
His unworthy servant and yours,
Fr. Kevin


  1. The most beautiful letter I have ever read. My thoughts and prayers are with you. ((HUGS))

  2. I am keeping you and your family in prayer - what a wonderful brother.

  3. He read it so beautifully....and his words at the end. 33 grandchild in numbers, he lived 13 hours, and I got to hold him. Such an amazing man! And for you all to share your letter with us was so touching!
    The CS Lewis quote was perfect....The pain now is a part of the love then; the minute we choose to love, we choose the pain."
    Because you know was all worth it!!!
    I will call you next week sometime my friend. Hang in there, feel Gods love as this brings you closer to him, feel all the people who truly love and care about you, and ask for help on the days you need it!

  4. You are blessed to have such holy men in your life. Fr Joseph's homily was so amazing- if you go read my FB wall, you will see lots of people commenting about his touching homily.

  5. You are so blessed to have such a special relationship with so many of your siblings. That was one of the most beautiful yet heart wrenching letters from one sibling to another I've ever read. Thinking of you often, very often. <3, Michelle

  6. Praying for your sweet family during this rough time. My daughter is fighting against SMA type 1 and we are so thankful for each day we have with her as we know her time is short. I don't know your loss just yet as our daughter is still with us, but my heart breaks for you. God is good. May the peace of Christ be with you and your family.

  7. Wow. His words are beautiful and must be of so much comfort!


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