Monday, February 23, 2004

"For the man who hit me."

Latest update on Father Benedict from Father Glenn:

"Father's arm is in great pain. He asked Brother Daniel and I to adjust the pillow under his hand; he grimaced. The wound on his head is healing nicely; his leg I couldn't see since it was covered. Considering the severity of the accident, he looked quite good. In fact, he spoke to me about the accident. He whispered, 'The car hit me at forty-five miles an hour', and then widened his eyes. 'A van stopped for me, but a car went around the right side and hit me'. Of course, Father remembers nothing after getting hit; in fact he was surprised when I told him Joe Campo and I were by his bed days after the accident. When I asked him with a smile if his life passed before his eyes or if he went through a white tunnel, he simply gave me his typical 'no, don't be stupid' look. It was so good to see that look!

Fr. Gene Fulton and I stood by his bed and celebrated Mass while Brother Daniel served. Actually, Father concelebrated as he lie there with Cardinal Cooke's simple white stole draped around his neck. My eyes kept darting in his direction to see if he was engaged during the Mass; he was, especially during the elevation. His eyes were locked on the host. The Mass was brief but very beautiful. During the Prayer of the Faithful, Father Gene offered a few petitions, then paused for us to offer our own. Father B mouthed the words, 'For the man who hit me'. What a beautiful example of love."