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In memory of Marie Matthews (née Greene)

 In memory of Marie Matthews (née Greene)

25th May 1954 - 2nd August 2022

Celebrants: Fr. Emmanuel Adams, Fr. Michael Maginn, Canon Powell PP
Musicians: Andrea Delaney and David Leddy; Sean O'Dowd

Marie Greene 2

Homily given at the Requiem Mass of Marie Matthews on 13th August 2022.

By Fr. Emmanuel Adams 

The name for the Holy Mass of today is Requiem Mass. The word Requiem is from the Latin word “requies” which means rest. Therefore, with the eyes of faith, those who have died have gone to rest in the Lord.

The theology or the teaching on resting in God is further explained by St. Augustine when he said “Our hearts are restless until they rest in God.” This means that while on earth we are usually burdened with so many worries and anxieties, but in heaven with God, there are no worries or anxieties.

As such as Catholics we pray for Marie” requiescat in pace” which means may she rest in peace.

Our hearts resting in God is the ultimate goal of our existence on earth. However, to rest peace is not automatic. We must have lived for God while on earth. It is the fruit of living for God by the grace of God that will guarantee our eternal rest in God.

How can we live for God? There are many ways to live for God but let us draw lessons from the life of our beloved Marie who I believe lived for God while on earth. We are all very fortunate to have had Marie in our lives.

Marie was a woman of great faith. My first close encounter with Marie was in the confessional. She came so prepared for confession with paper and pen. She did not want to forget anything. Her sincerity, openness, and depth made me realise immediately that she was a devout person. (This was before her diagnosis)

I saw in Marie a woman who yearned and thirsted for God. As the Psalmist said in Psalm 42:2 “ My soul thirsts for God the living God..” So did Marie’s soul thirst for God.

When she had her diagnosis, she told me. She demonstrated extraordinary faith. The extraordinary level of Christian faith is when we realise that yes God can answer all prayers, but it may not be according to His will to answer some prayers how and when we want Him to. At that point, the prayer point would become let God’s will be done.

Marie got to this extraordinary level of faith when she resigned herself totally to the will of God. Her prayer point became “fiat voluntas tua” which means “May Thy (God’s) will be done.” With her resignation to God’s will, she found total peace in God in her ill health.

The questions for us who are living today are: are we resigned to the will of God or are we preoccupied with our own will? How is our relationship with the sacrament of penance?

Marie stayed positive till the end. In her ill health, Marie remained very positive in her outlook on life and things. She found joy in little things around her. For example, while on her last admission she found joy in being able to make her ice in her hospital room. Thanks to Paul (her husband) who bought her a tabletop fridge. Marie never gave up hope in God.

In the face of our challenges in life, how positive are we? We must never give up.

Marie had selfless love. When Marie received her diagnosis, the first thing she told me was how will the news of her condition affect Paul and her family. Immediately she requested for Masses to be offered for Paul and her family members before she broke the news to them.

Marie and Paul are very passionate about the Divine Mercy. In her ill health, with the support of Paul and other devotees, she started the devotion of the Divine Mercy at Our Lady of the Wayside Catholic Church. In her ill health, she also joined the Society of St Vincent De Paul.

The questions for us who are living today are: Are we self-centered persons or selfless persons? How often do we consider other people's feelings before we act? How many persons do we pray for?

Marie persevered to the end. This is the meaning of a happy death. So today while we mourn the loss of her physical presence on earth we rejoice and celebrate the gain of heaven.

Marie was human. This means that just like every human person Marie had her weaknesses. (I know she made every effort to overcome them)

As Catholics we pray for the dead, that whatever faults they did not expiate on earth our prayers may assist them. If she has expiated all her faults on earth, then God in His wisdom will apply our prayers for her to other souls in need of them.

Please let all of us book Masses to be offered for the eternal repose of Marie’s soul.

May the soul of Marie and the souls of all the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen.

Marie, till we see again in heaven.

PRAYER OF THE FAITHFUL

Priest: As we stand before the mystery of death, Christ stands among us and says to us, 'Courage! Do not be afraid!' With confidence let us place our prayers before him knowing that he will hear our plea. 

Beloved Marie has just departed her earthly home. In baptism she received the promise of eternal life. We pray that all of the angels and saints are now greeting her and that she will enjoy the peace of heaven. We pray that she is now united with the Lord and reunited with deceased members of her family.

We thank you Lord for the gift of Marie - an accomplished and fearless lady, with an enduring passion for helping others. We thank you for the many talents and abilities that you gave her; and which she freely shared with others. We pray that you will reward her for all her good works and deeds; for her patience and kindness to all; and for the Christian values which she held. She had a strong personal faith; she took strength from God and she held a spiritual devotion to Sister Faustina and the Divine Mercy.

We pray for all the clergy who have supported Marie and Paul throughout their lives, especially Rev Father Emmanuel Adams (currently based in San Francisco), Rev Father Maginn (Parish of Moyraverty), Father Jimmy Lutwa (Parish of St. Mary and St. Benedict, Coventry), Rev Father Andrew Franklin (Parish Priest of Our Lady of the Wayside, Shirley, Solihull) and Rev Canon Powell, Parish Priest of Tullylish, for their unfailing attention and spiritual guidance to Marie. We also pray for the many people who supported and prayed for Marie during her illness.

May the Lord reward all those medical and nursing professionals who were kind to, and cared well for, Marie during recent months.

We pray that our memory of Marie, her supportive ways and good example, may live on amongst us all. May the Lord comnfort and console all those who mourn her. May you bless and protect us, and give us strength and courage.

We pray for all the sick of the Parish. We pray too for Marie's late parents Joe and Alice and her brother, baby John, for her parents in-law John and Agnes Matthews and for all the deceased members of the Greene and Matthews families.  We pray for all those who have died recently, especially those from this parish and the parishes of Our Lady of the Wayside, Shirley, Solihull and St. Mary and St. Benedict, Coventry. Let us remember too, all sick and deceased relatives and friends of everyone here today., May they rest in peace. 

We pray for, and thank everyone who has helped to organise this celebration of Marie's life. We pray for, and thank Father Emmanuel who has trravelled from San Fransisco; Andrew Delaney for the beautiyul singing, Sean O'Dowd for the solo and for the musical accompaniment by Daviud Leddy. We also pray for, and thank all who have called at the house or attended today, or who are watching on line. 

Refection (read by Marie's husband Paul)

Don't grieve for me, for now I'm free.
I'm following the path God laid, you see.
I took his hand when I heard him call.
I turned my back and left it all.

I could not stay another day,
to laugh, to love, to work, or play. 
Tasks left undone must stay that way.
I found peace at the close of day.

If my parting leaves a void
then fill it with remembered joys,
a friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss,
Oh yes, these things I, too, will miss.

Be not burdened with times of sorrow.
I wish you the sunshine of tomorrow.
My life's been full, I savoured much -
good friends, good times, a loved one's touch. 

Perhaps my time seemed all too brief
Don't lenthen it now with undue grief.
Lift up your hearts and peace to thee.
God wanted me now; He set me free! 

 

 

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