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I am watching America’s Got Talent. I have my laptop on my lap sifting through e-mails. It’s been a long day. No, today has been a very, very long day.
A choir sings. They sound magnificent. The audience and judges love them. They interview the head of the choir and he says, “To God be the glory.”
I know I shouldn’t. It’s been a hard day only I can’t help myself once I hear those words. It is a song that reminds me of my Uncle, a priest and pastor in Northwest, Washington, D.C..
I find a youtube version of “To God Be The Glory.” If you haven’t heard this song then you need to google it with youtube following the title and you will find it is one of the most beautiful songs you will hear.
I cry. I think of my uncle. I think of standing in St. Gabriel’s his beloved church and how the music there is as much of a religious experience as listening to my uncle’s sermon. This was his feeling not mine. I just agreed with him. The music lifted us up.
Then I think I miss him. I want him back. I felt such love and peace when I was with him, mostly I just felt love. This was his greatest gift.
When people speak of my uncle, be it his parishioners or people who wrote about him, they will always say the same thing. Father Pat was a priest for all people.
I often watch the Pope and smile. He has the same warmth and love, the same I am every man, the same I have great faith, the same I hesitate to judge, the same my convictions are present, but my judgements are absent, the same comfort around people, the same ease and joy in walking among the crowds.
So I will say what I think every time I watch the Pope.
He is a Pope for all people. A gentle, loving soul who wishes to not judge the world, but love it one person at a time.
Each time I see the Pope I see my uncle.
Each time I think I know that type of love and Catholicism. It is encompassing. It is not specific nor is it limited. It is not for a certain kind of person or dare I say only Catholics. It is just pure and simple love.
A love meant for all people.
This is what I miss about my uncle.
He was a Catholic priest. He was love. He was no judgements. He was no pretense. He was no formality. He was family to us and to his parishioners. He was humble. He guided and aided he did not mandate. He was peace. He was love.
A kind of peace that gave me peace.
I watch the Pope. He is love. He is peace. He is a Pope for all people.
I think this Pope is special. A man who walks among men. A man who spreads love.
I think about my uncle, Father Patrick McCaffrey. A Catholic priest from Brooklyn, New York. I think He was special. A man who walked among men. A man who spread love.
A man who walked so tirelessly among men, that he left much love behind him.
I wish more people knew him.
I watch our Pope and I know that people know him. A man who walks tirelessly among men, who leaves much love behind him, wherever he walks.
I think some Pope’s might not love a comparison. I think this Pope will because he is a Pope for all people. No pretense. Just an ordinary man with an extraordinary purpose. To leave love behind no matter where he goes.
I miss my uncle. I miss his extraordinary example though just an ordinary man. I miss how every time he walked out the door, he showed me how to live.
How lucky was I?
He taught me to love and more importantly, he taught me that ordinary people can live extraordinary lives.
I hope I leave love behind me.
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