My son Thomas died when he was one day old. That was nearly thirteen years ago. We’d have been celebrating his first teenage birthday this November. A teenager? We don’t really think of him as being that age. Somehow in our imaginations, he hasn’t grown up.
When I think of Thomas, I imagine him as I last saw him. He is a beautiful, precious, newborn baby with wispy hair and tiny fingers.
I wonder what Thomas would have looked like had he lived. One day I will meet him again in heaven. Will I recognise him?
When I return to my pew after receiving Holy Communion, I always whisper the Anima Christi to Jesus:
Soul of Christ, sanctify me.
Body of Christ, save me.
Blood of Christ, inebriate me.
Water from the side of Christ, wash me.
Passion of Christ, strengthen me.
O good Jesus, hear me.
Within Thy words, hide me.
Never permit me to be separated from Thee.
From the evil enemy, defend me…
As I come to the end of the prayer, I also spend a moment thinking about Thomas…
At the hour of my death call me;
And bid me come to Thee,
So that with Thy saints,
I may praise Thee forever and ever.
I imagine Thomas waiting with Jesus to welcome me into heaven. Thomas is all grown up. He is a handsome young man. I worry we won’t recognise each other but then he says, “I love you, Mum!”
And I know that all the pain, the grief and the suffering are finally over. I am with Thomas and I am with Love.
And yes, with Thomas and all Thy saints, I will praise Thee forever and ever… Amen.
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