Regular readers of this blog and listeners to Catholic Weekend will know that today is #IStandWithThomasPeters day on social media. All day long, family and friends are asking for your prayers, financial contributions, blog posts, status updates, tweets, and so on, as Thomas Peters recovers from a serious accident he suffered on July 16th of this year. The many needs, both spiritual and temporal, which must be met in order for Thomas’ recovery to continue are substantial, as you can read in this post on the Recovery Website chronicling his progress.
You will also know that I have not commented much publicly on all of this, other than to ask for your support. Thomas has been and will be far more eloquent than anyone else in reflecting on his experiences, such as in this recent blog post, his first since the accident. My own muddled words will likely serve as little more than a distraction from the task at hand, but I did promise that I would share a bit more than I have to date, albeit within certain parameters.
Last evening as I was thinking about what I ought to write for today, I noticed that there was an unpublished draft post sitting in my WordPress files. It was something I wrote a few days after Thomas’ accident and then forgot about, since at the time blogging was not really a priority. I share it with you now – with apologies to Thomas for its inadequacy – in the hope that you will seriously consider providing whatever spiritual and temporal assistance you can to someone who has not only been a friend to me, but indeed to so many.
July 22, 2013
Feast of St. Mary Magdalen
My Dear Friend:
I know that you will not be able to read this for a long time – perhaps not for a very long time indeed. However I am writing this letter to you now, because one day you will read it and, God willing, you will also remember, that five years ago today you met this rather overly-intellectual, overly-talkative, and at times sadly overly-pretentious scribbler. Five years is perhaps not a great deal of time by the measure of most people, and yet because of the fact that we are both rather intense fellows, I daresay we have managed to compress the equivalent of many decades of friendship into a much briefer timeline than said “most people” would find humanly plausible.
You will recall that I had forgotten the exact date of our first acquaintance until a few months ago, when I began preparing the speech I had to give at your wedding to the young lady of your dreams. That young lady is probably at your side reading this with you. And as she does so you are – quite correctly – counting your blessings all over again.
Yet let us take care not to in any way diminish what joy and blessings you yourself bring to the lives of those around you. Time and again, you have been a source of encouragement and inspiration to countless numbers of people. And at this particular point in your life as I write this, you are once again fulfilling that role, albeit in a way which no one would willingly choose to take on for themselves. I hope you know, that whatever cross you must bear, I will be doing my best, however poor that best may be, to help bear it with you.
It would be folly and presumptuous for me to say that I know what you are going through at the exact moment I am writing this, or indeed what your wife, your parents, and family are going through. My fervent prayer is that by the time you read this, fear and sorrow will have been replaced by triumphant joy for all, but most especially for you. For we believe that it is through our sufferings that we gain our redemption, in imitation of Christ. And by the time this period of suffering has passed in your life, you and He will be even closer than you were before.
There is little else that I need to say, for we do not need to say it. I would only close this brief letter to you with one important reminder. On my birthday this year, part of the note you wrote me read, “I hope and pray we are friends until our last days.” I am counting on you to keep that promise.
God bless and keep you always,