I do love the little coincidences that are a constant part of the life of a Christian. I had been thinking it was high time I published a tribute to Pat Murphy, one of our former parishioners, who died on 17 September this year. And so I started searching through my enormous collection of photographs to find one that I remembered taking of Pat and Bishop Sproxton, when he visited Yanchep. When I finally found it, I had one of those tingles of surprise and satisfaction to discover it is exactly 5 years to the day since I took that photo. I say “satisfaction” because that is the feeling one gets when it is confirmed to you that the cloud of witnesses is actually very close by, and giving you hints.
Pat was (and is still!) a very holy, gentle woman. She had a great love for the Sacred Heart of Jesus and was one of the ladies of the parish you could rely on to be at daily devotions, rain, hail or shine. She was also one of those self-effacing people who always had a kind word, and was willing to give the benefit of the doubt to you, if there was some doubt about your wholesomeness! I still remember the time when there was a bit of a kerfuffle going on, and she said to me, “I don’t think those things they said about you were true.” (I still haven’t found out what she meant, but never mind.) So I felt quite attached to Pat, and since her funeral, I had been thinking about a prayer card she once gave to me when I was desperately upset, and wondered where on earth I had put it. Well, within a week of her funeral, lo and behold, I was doing some tidying up and came upon C.S. Lewis’s Mere Christianity in a pile of paperwork, whereupon this prayer card of hers fell out, as I had been using it as a bookmark. That gave me another of those satisfying shivers (thanks, Pat!)
So I ask Pat, “Please pray for me and my family, as I pray for your period of purgation to be short, and your soul to be united as soon as possible with Our Blessed Lord in the company of the angels and saints.”
The verse that immediately comes to mind is 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14.
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.
Her grave is not far from my husband’s – should you wish to pay your respects, it is in the section 1672-1730, Tuart Court, Pinnaroo.