The thoughts, ideas, findings, and fancies of a Catholic student at Our Lady's University.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Requiem æternam dona, Lord, to someone I'll never forget

It’s funny, sometimes, the timing in life. Sometimes, it’s the timing of things that reveals most the existence of a higher power. A new opportunity that presents itself the same week as a lost job. A mysterious rebate check that shows up when bills are unpayable. Leaving work late, then realizing on your way home that you would have been at the site of an accident when it happened. The timing that I experienced today is neither so profound nor so obvious, but I noticed it none the less. The same day I finished a term paper discussing why God allows evil in the world, I found out that the son of last year’s beloved choir director died today.
Ellis was only 3 years old, but already he had been through so much that no adult should ever have to be, and that every parent hopes their child will never go through. Health problems throughout his short life, a heart transplant, a couple precious months at home, and landing back in the hospital for the last several weeks.
As evidenced by the tens of thousands of notes in the Guestbook of his CaringBridge site, Ellis was more loved, more supported, and more prayed-for than perhaps any child I’ve ever seen. He will no doubt also be one of the most grieved-for. Why does God allow such things?
The answer has been staring out at me for the last month, from Aquinas’ The Five Ways: “He would not allow any evil to exist in His works, unless His omnipotence and goodness were such as to bring good even out of evil.” Yes, there is great sadness and mourning. It is certainly true that Ellis will never be forgotten by anyone who ever met him and got his trademark grin and thumbs-up. But it is also true that no one who knew him has not learned a lesson about suffering, about loving unconditionally. Ellis' motto was "Slow and steady wins the race," and indeed he has won, he has beat us all to our ultimate goal.
Please pray for comfort for Ellis’ parents Sam and Melissa, who have devoted themselves tirelessly and with endless love to Ellis.

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