27 April 2009

A Final Farewell. . . for the Time Being

Today we celebrate the Mass of Christian burial and interment of Father Frank Houdek, sj. Those knowledgeable about Jesuit spirituality (and that of Paul, of course) will be familiar with the following prayer. This version was done by Dan Schutte formerly of the St Louis Jesuits. It is one of the hymns we will sing today, and it it summarizes well what Father Frank was all about. As a man, a priest, and a religious, he gave himself to God. He allowed God to take him and use him in his loving and merciful service every day of his adult life. Day in and day out he made this gift to his God anew, and day in and day out God gave his people this gift of Frank's life in return. Now he makes his final return to his Father, and we begin to appreciate the gift he was and remains to us as he journeys with us in Christ in a new way. May God grace him with his love and mercy. It always truly was enough for him, and in this truth we were and are yet extravagantly blessed.

Take My Heart, O Lord
Take my hopes and dreams;
Take my mind
with all its plans and schemes.

Give me nothing more
than your love and grace
These alone, O God
Are enough for me.

Take my thought, O Lord
and my memories
Take my tears, my joy,
my liberty.

Give me nothing more
than your love and grace,
These alone, O God
are enough for me.

I surrender, Lord
all I have and hold
I return to you
Your gifts untold.

Give me nothing more
than your love and grace.
These alone, O God
Are enough for me.

When the darkness falls
on my final days
take the very breath
that sang your praise.

Give me nothing more
than your Love and Grace
These alone, O God
Are Enough for me.

N.B., for the parish schedule today for Fr Frank, please see the next blog article. The schedule is found at the bottom in bold font.