The following is a letter from friends of mine in Colorado, the McGuiness family, who just lost their son Henri on Tuesday in a car accident. As the Easter season comes to an end with the celebration of Pentecost on Sunday, I am struck with the fact that Resurrection faith really changes us and makes us live in a new way. The Resurrection, before it is an official doctrine in our Catechism, is the irruption of hope into an otherwise hopeless world. In short, the Resurrection is a fact and therefore an experience: “The Lord is risen, and He has appeared to Simon!” And Simon-Peter shared that experience with the other disciples, not as information, but so that they too could know the Risen Lord. They shared it with their friends, and somehow, mysteriously, through the centuries, that faith has reached all the way to you and to me.
As you may have heard, our second son, Henri Balthasar McGuiness died in a car accident Tuesday morning in Fort Lupton. The cause of death was severe head trauma. From what we can tell, Henri died quickly and we commend Him to the mercy of Christ, Who desires that none be lost. There were three other teens (Zach, Nicky and Noah) involved in the one car crash and we ask you to pray for their swift recovery (physically, emotionally, spiritually). Please pray for their families in a time of great uncertainty.
So many of our friends have reached out already and please know that if we can’t talk to you in person right away, we deeply appreciate your prayers and your being in solidarity with us. We are seeing a new dimension to what companionship in Christ truly means. Those of you familiar with Myers-Briggs may know that Teresa and I both “score” as introverts, so our capacity to receive may seem limited at times. Please do know that you are welcome to visit us as you are able. If it gets to be “too much,” we’ll let you know. We desire that our friends be present with us in this dark hour. You bear the light of Christ, and that helps us in ways you can’t imagine.
[…some of the practical details follow…]
That’s a lot of “data,” but all we ask you to do is pray that the glory of Christ be revealed in these circumstances. That’s what’s important to us.
Matt, Teresa, Karen, Joe, Flannery, Enzo
I am thankful to the McGuiness family for their beautiful witness at this difficult time, a witness to the fact that the Risen Jesus can walk through the “locked doors” of the most difficult situation. This is the witness by which Resurrection Faith reaches you and me. In the words of Pope Francis in Evangelii Gaudium:
It is impossible to persevere in a fervent evangelization unless we are convinced from personal experience that it is not the same thing to have known Jesus as not to have known him, not the same thing to walk with him as to walk blindly, not the same thing to hear his word as not to know it, and not the same thing to contemplate him, to worship him, to find our peace in him, as not to. It is not the same thing to try to build the world with his Gospel as to try to do so by our own lights. We know well that with Jesus life becomes richer and that with him it is easier to find meaning in everything. This is why we evangelize.
May the soul of Henri and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.