A FOND FAREWELL TODAY – for Irene, one of this parish’s (many) treasures. It was a happy occasion. Confident. Irene had shared her faith and her confidence with many more than me. Irene had what she described as “an abiding inner sense of heaven” for years and years. Her friends have written to me of a calmness, serenity and grace that many, many people recognised in her. I think that Irene, a beloved wife, mother, grandmother, artist, counsellor and friend was also, most assuredly, a contemplative. About a month ago we spoke of the confidence in Heaven she shared with Sister Joan Chittister, who wrote:

Heaven is the achievement of the peak of Being. It is full consciousness of Life alive within us. It is, in other words, the end of a long process that we already know even now but too, too often fail to recognize. Heaven is becoming what I am and have always been and am meant to be in full … Heaven is not something we get, in other words; it is something we become. Heaven is something we find within ourselves, something we discover beyond ourselves, something we come to see and learn to touch and begin to feel in us and around us now. Heaven is finding God now and then growing into life always more and more …

Joan Chittister, In Search of Belief, page 49

Every day of our lives blesses us with some new gift or insight. Only a couple of days ago Fr Roger Clarke and I spoke of the priest and poet David Scott whose poem Eyes draws to its close with

I trust one day all will be known
in the deepest bank of the world’s meaning
and on that day our eyes will feast.