Friday, October 9, 2020

Dear Brendan McGuire, Rest in God's Peace

Today the whole university community at Christendom College joins many friends and family in mourning the loss to this world of Professor Brendan McGuire, who died of cancer early this morning. We entrust his good soul to the Lord with prayer in the firm hope of eternal life through Jesus Christ. We pray especially for consolation for his wife and children, and an abundance of God's mercy and healing.

Brendan was my student, long ago. Part of me will always remember him as "that incredibly bright kid" (teachers always remember "the kid" you once were, and will still see that young person who remains "part of you" no matter how old you get). But time moves fast, and soon he was my colleague. Then he was a much-loved professor to my own kids. 

He was also, for years, a witness to us all of faith, courage, and even a remarkable joy in the midst of great suffering. He was an accomplished scholar and a brilliant teacher, and a wonderful, strong, humble, charitable man. Even when facing very difficult and painful periods in his long battle with cancer, he showed appreciation and gratitude for the smallest things in daily life. He lived his days fully, with vigor and all the energy he could muster, because he had hope for eternal life. He saw, in the seeds sown in the ground of this world, the beginning of the garden of the New Creation where Jesus transfigures and brings to fruition all the good we have done.

What immense sorrow this brings (in different ways) for so many people! Sorrow and grief are mysterious things which we cannot avoid enduring in this world. They especially are the human things that would seem to have no resolution, but we know by faith that the Risen Jesus transforms even our sorrows from within by His love that has overcome death.

Lord, grant eternal rest to Brendan and let perpetual light shine upon him. And by your mercy, give spiritual healing, strength, and peace to his wife Susan and their children. Dear God, also grant consolation and encouragement to family, friends, colleagues, students, the whole Christendom community and our local parish community.

And may the Lord have mercy on us all.