I always cry for myself at funerals. As Mark Twain said, “Pity is for the living, envy is for the dead.”
Above is a sculpture I found particularly moving, Donatello’s Crucifix.
One thing about my trip to Italy was how inspired I was. Instead of being intimidated by the majesty I saw, I felt the calling to be worthy of such cultural ancestors. The artists, scholars, politicians, and patrons were masters of their times. They are heroes, whose example encourages us to pursue greatness amid even the hardest of times.
Funeral of a good man
When I attend the funeral of a good man, the Mass is filled with good people; people who will miss him. It is full of hope; hope that the man is on his way to his eternal home. It is filled with good memories; memories of how he served God and pointed the Way for us. It is filled with sorrow and grace and joy.
It is always a powerful inspiration to me. In the same way as the great men of the Renaissance point the way to earthly greatness, so the life of a good man can point to what is possible beyond even that. He has fought the good fight, finished the race, and kept the faith. As St. Paul says, “From now on there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have longed for his appearing.”
It is hard, thinking of the sufferings that may meet us in this life. I pray that I keep my eyes on the end.