Who’s Next?


As I grow older, my mind is not lost in thoughts of new beginnings and resolutions and that sort although such thoughts are presented to my conscious mind almost daily throughout the years. Neither do I look back at world events from the past year as a yearly review. No, my mind is thinking, “Who’s the next soul that I know who is not going to make it past this coming year”.

I know it sounds kind of morbid but as we age the obituaries seem to have more names etched in ink in a month than we used to see in a decade. As Benjamin Franklin was once quoted: “I wake up every morning at nine and grab for the morning paper. Then I look at the obituary page. If my name is not on it, I get up.”

I lost contact with most of the folks that I remember from younger years due to the fact that my dad was military and we moved (meaning I went to a new school) every couple of years throughout my life. So my circle of friends is rather small though I still remember a number of names from my past, as I usually made a few good friends to hang out with for those short stays. The internet is pretty good at finding them (and their obituaries) so I use it every few months on those that I can track down.

The reason I do this is primarily due to a number of factors. It is nice to spend my time with the focus of avoiding the pains of hell and the attainment of heaven and increasing in love for my God. But in some fashion the death of others, seems sad, as we never get an indication of where they might be according to the justice of God. So I have added the old verse (now rarely said) to my prayers before a meal: namely, “and May the Souls of the Faithful Departed through the Mercy of God, Rest In Peace.” For it is a rather sad thought that I have when I think of how few there are that in our present culture both embrace Faith and fear their Personal Judgement. After all, when was the last time you heard a priest or your pastor speak of the last 4 things (death, judgement, heaven and hell)?

I also began to add friends and acquaintances to the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society list so that a Traditional Latin Mass might be offered in perpetuity for their souls. I figure that is the least that I can do for them. After all they comforted me when I was among them and I should return the favor now that we are separated by time and space, life and death. If anyone else has an interest in doing this (and it costs nothing) they can see how to enter their names here:


So this past year was probably pretty good as I know of only two to pass. A friend in Brooklyn, NY who was hit by a bus while listening to his jazz music through earphones and the first girl friend I ever had, back in high school, who died of a brain tumor.  

I know, of course, about many other friends and relatives who need my prayers due to their different illnesses and difficulties and they too are in my heart and on my mind as this new year begins. How many will transform their lives this year, or be lost is unknown. All I know is that somebody will probably not make it out of 2020 alive. I pray for them now and be assured that if I find out who you are, I will have a Mass said for you.

Auld Lang Syne (in plain American English)

Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and days of long ago?

For days of long ago, my dear,
for days of long ago,
we’ll take a cup of kindness yet,
for days of long ago.
And surely you’ll buy your pint cup!
and surely I’ll buy mine!
And we’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet,
for days of long ago.


We two have run about the slopes,
and picked the daisies fine;
But we’ve wandered many a weary foot,
since days of long ago.


We two have paddled in the stream,
from morning sun till dine;
But seas between us broad have roared
since days of long ago.


And there’s a hand my trusty friend!
And give me a hand o’ thine!
And we’ll take a right good-will draught
for days of long ago.


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