In Her Image — Funeral for Carol Beck, 87

I never got to know Carol in life, but what I have been told of her is very good; that she is a sweet, peaceful, good and devoted woman of God. And from what I am told, she is clearly a woman of quiet strength.

On December 7th, 1958, Carol’s husband Robert, the father of Steve and Kathy, after nine years of marriage, unexpectedly died of a heart attack. That infamous date, December 7th, happened to be Carol’s birthday. I’m told that when Carol got married she was perfectly happy with the thought of being taken care of for years to come, but when Robert died she was called to rise to the occasion and take charge. This widow raised her children to maturity, and Steve and Kathy indicate that she raised them rather well. Though he was not visibly present in an unveiled way, I bet that Robert was never far spiritually, helping her through the trials.

Carol was simple and meek and seemingly ordinary in the world, but at the same time she was a quite stunning in appearance, with dark hair and beautiful brown eyes. Though everything, she remained close to her Lord, Jesus Christ. She drew strength from daily prayer and the grace of the sacraments, and with her beautiful voice she sang praises to God. Now she has passed on, to go where her bridegroom has gone before her.

We should pray the purification of Carol’s soul, as we do for all the dead, but I have no fear for her future. Carol’s life on earth has been as an image, an icon, of  Christ’s Church on earth. The mystery of the Church was reflected through her life.

We call the Church a she, because she is the bride of Christ. As we hear in the Gospel, the day He died was the birthday of the Church. The Church is a mother, and with love and concern she raises her own children to maturity. Though her bridegroom is not visibly present in an unveiled way, He is always near her and helps her through every trial. She is stunningly beautiful, and yet she is simple, meek, and seemingly ordinary in this world. Though everything, she remains close to her Lord, Jesus Christ. She is strengthened through her daily prayers and the grace of the sacraments, and with one beautiful voice, she sings praises to God. And one day, she too will pass on from this world, to where her bridegroom has gone before her.

Please pray to God for Carol’s soul, but do not be afraid. I am confident that when all is said and done, Jesus shall present her in splendor to Himself, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she may be holy and happy with Him forever. Those who live in the Church’s likeness are promised her reward.

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