Of Saints and Sufferers

Today, if you were to visit a certain cathedral in the city of Syracuse on the island of Sicily in the country of Italy, you might remember the 7th century St. Zosimus, who was the

bishop of Syracuse for 40Imageyears or so. I, however, was not in Syracuse gazing up at this impressive facade, but inside a chilly church vestibule in western Massachusetts sitting at a table with a small pile of books.

I remembered St. Zosimus, though, as today is his feast day. As some of you might know he is also Tim’s Confirmation patron, and I had ample time to think about both Tim and Zosimus today as I sat at my book table in between Masses, surrounded by a laptop playing the book trailer and a poster-sized copy of the book cover. I had some folks amble over to take a look at my display and sold a few books.

More importantly, though, I met four families who are still in various stages of grief over the loss of their sons. They each had a different story to tell and had found different ways of coping. Each parent, though, had a sustaining faith in God that bolstered them in the dark days. Sometimes it is only possible to muddle along, to pull the shades and pray as one woman said, but the prayer to a loving God who is always there and who loves the little babies, the depressed ones and those sweet men in the grip of addictions outweighs the heavy, pressing down of sadness.

Tonight I pray with the Holy Spirit for peace for all the families and I beg of Tim and Zozimus the grace of remembrance. May they and all those who live in the presence of the Most High rain down on us all the gift of perseverance and of lasting joy.

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