On the wall in my office is an old style Catholic sick call box, a treasure given to me by my grandfather. Inside is a statue similar to the Pieta. I keep it where I can see it when I am on the telephone helping a family or when someone is in my office and we are discussing a particular situation involving a family. As I look upon this depiction of our Blessed Mother and the Crucified Christ, I am reminded of my Catholic faith. The depiction of the Pieta is a reminder that each of us encounters death, including our Blessed Mother. The Sorrowful Mother weeps with us when we suffer the loss of someone we love. While each of us mourns in our own way, our Blessed Mother embraces us and tells us that we do not suffer alone. Even more so, she reminds us that there is hope and even joy to be found beyond death.
We know that, in our faith, death is not “goodbye” but rather, “until we meet again.” If you walk through any of our cemeteries, you are easily reminded of this Godly promise. We bury our dead in a sacred place not because they are gone from our lives, but because they are still members of our family and of the Holy Catholic Church. While there is no doubt that death can be sorrowful, we must also find joy in the fact that we will be reunited with our loved ones someday.
If you find yourself struggling in this Easter season, I encourage you to look to our Holy Mother for strength and comfort. She is always there to guide you along your life’s journey and point you toward the everlasting love of Christ.
-Andrej Lah, Director of the Catholic Cemeteries Association