Dearest Donna was called by our Lord to the next life the other day. This was a sudden death. Her funeral is this coming Wednesday at 11:00 AM (April 6, 2021) at Saint Dorothy’s Catholic Church in Lincolnton, NC. Donna was a best friend, as is her husband John, and their son, John Brian.
I should like to write more at length about these great witnesses to our Lord and our Blessed Mother in future.
But for now, a humorous story. It is NOT a canonization of Donna. And I’m not saying I’m some sort of visionary. No. I think that no matter what we are to pray that those who die be released from purgatory forthwith and be on their way to heaven, and if they are already there, our prayers will go – in their honor – for other souls to be on their way. It’s all good.
To preface this story you have to know that for a million reasons, one more far reaching than the other, I think that donkeys are the coolest of all God’s creatures, ever. They can sing, they only do what they understand, they are always with the Holy Family, they are the hard-working symbol of Israel from time immemorial. I could go on for volumes, and I have written at great length quite innumerable times about the glories of donkeys. I believe that the Lord’s Little Flock must have shepherds, priests, who are guard-donkeys, for donkeys protect the flock from the wolves, a swift kick, and then suffocation by crushing of the esophagus and then a quick side-to-side, ripping their throats right out.
Know that St Corbinian’s bear on Pope Benedict’s Coat of Arms is actually a donkey, and that Pope Benedict fancied himself as that very donkey. So very many stories in my own life, from the seminary to the Pontifical Bibilical Institute in Jerusalem, to Bethlehem, to…
So! Donna heard my praise of donkeys for years. My hermitage where I wrote on the Immaculate Conception of our Lady was on a back ridge on their back-woods property John and Donna had in the heart of Appalachia. Donna was not so impressed with donkeys. Donkeys stink. Donkeys are “stinkers”, a nickname Donna gave to all and sundry good troublemakers, you know, those who are somewhat too clever in getting done what needs to be done. For Donna, I was often the stinker. “YOU, STINKER!” she would exclaim with joy, laughing at how subtly outrageously guard-donkey-esque I had just been for the good of the Church anywhere right around the world and right into the Holy See, from my little mountain hermitage or now in my tiniest of all parishes. It was and is to laugh, me being perhaps too happy with myself in getting done what needs to be done while quite miraculously escaping the wrath that otherwise might be expected from those more politically correct than ourselves. Good times.
In all these years of knowing John and Donna, they got to know very quickly that when anyone needed the Last Rites, I would rush to whatever junk vehicle I had at the time – even Jenny the Jeep – and chase off at breakneck speed to the the home or hospital or rehab bed of the one in dire straits. The Donkey-Priest must go quickly!
They knew my continuous stories of what I would say after providing Last Rites with all the attendant Sacraments and Indulgenced blessings and prayers, that when they finally go before Jesus, they are to tell Him that there is a Donkey-Priest upon this earth who needs His special help. This would always bring laughter or faked-politeness, which is also humor:
- Some would say that telling Jesus about some Donkey-Priest would be useless, they would have to be more specific, for, they said, Jesus would ask who it is they are talking about, as all priests are Donkey-Priests! Hahaha. It’s good to have good humor when one is on one’s way!
- Some would promise that they would, of course, do just this, happy to do it. Great!
- Some would absolutely refuse. There is absolutely no way, ever, that they are going to tell any such thing to Jesus, that they love their priests, and pray for their priests all the time – so many Rosaries for priests!!! – and so they are not going to insult Jesus’ priests right in front of Jesus, to His Face, talking to Jesus about Donkey-Priests! No! Donna was one such refusenik. I countered by saying that I have done this so very times with souls on their way that it’s now “A Thing”, so that if she doesn’t do it, Jesus will Himself bring up the subject, asking if there isn’t a Donkey-Priest who is in special need of His help, and she will have to admit that there is a specific Donkey-Priest in need of Jesus’ help.
But in all of this, my emphasis on the great benefits of the Last Rites went deep into her soul. The day before she suddenly died, she insisted on going to Holy Mass at the Cathedral. From where they are, this involves a nightmare of traffic. John wanted to go to Holy Mass at Saint Dorothy’s. But there was no changing Donna’s mind. Off they went. Afterward, she got the Anointing of the Sick from the Rector of the Cathedral. Within hours, through in relatively good health, she was dead. She did have an untoward diagnosis (which apparently had little to do with her death). It was not long after she died that the “EVENT” happened.
Again, I’m not canonizing Donna here. Pray for the repose of her soul. I’m not saying I’m a visionary. No. It just is what it is. My experience. Take or leave it. Whatever. I find it all to be good humor. Haha.
Not very long at all after Donna dropped dead, it seemed that for one split-nanosecond she appeared to me in such good humored manner that I thought my appeals about requesting help for this Donkey-Priest had come true, not because she had brought this up to Jesus, but because Jesus had to bring it up to her, to the laughter of all who met her to bring her in before Jesus. Jesus has good humor. Just read the Scriptures. You’ll find God’s good humor throughout, everywhere you look. Donna had only two words to say to this Donkey-Priest in that split-nanosecond “visitation” if you will, knowing that I would know what she meant with her good demeanor in such good humor. Donna exclaimed, as only she can:
” ♬ YOU STINKER ! ♬ “
It is to laugh. And I did. And I do. Jesus is good and kind, even to the likes of His own Donkey-Priests. Thanks, Donna.
May Donna’s soul and the souls of all the faithful departed rest in peace. Hail Mary… Hail Mary… Hail Mary…
And thank you, Jesus, for giving special help to Donkey-Priests. :-)