Sunday, October 23, 2005

A visitor

I went home that night determined to go see the Bishop Freising as soon as possible.

I told Peter my plans.

“She is a wonderful person,” Peter said. “I wish I had met someone like her.”

“You still might,” I said. “Look how long it took me.”

“But I won’t live as long as you,” he said.

A part of the gift given me is that those who accompany me find their lives extended. Peter looked to be in his 20s, but he was actually more than 100.

My other companions have been similarly blessed with long life. But none had remained with me forever, and when we parted ways, they aged normally. I had been to the funerals of many good friends.

But this was the first time Pete had suggested that he might not stay with me.

“Are you thinking of leaving?”

“Not now. But if you marry, well, will you really want me around?”

“Of course. Besides, it may never happen.”

“Why? You love each other.”

“I was ordained. I made a promise of celibacy.”

“Didn’t that end when you died?”

“No. It is forever. I am a priest forever.”

He sighed.

“I am a loyal child of the Church,” he said. “But that doesn’t mean I always understand it.”

A few hours later, I went to bed. I said my prayers as I always do.

Tonight my prayers included, “Lord, show me what you would have me do.”

I fell asleep. But in the night I suddenly awoke.

I sensed there was someone else in the room.

“Peter, is that you?”


But the voice was not that of my Peter.


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