Rest in Peace, Tony Snow
"The challenges that make our hearts leap and stomachs churn invariably strengthen our faith and grant measures of wisdom and joy."
This three-picture combo shows White House Press Secretary Tony Snow reacting to a question during his daily briefing at the White House in Washington, in this Thursday, May 3, 2007 file photo. Fox News is reporting Saturday July 12, 2008 that conservative commentator and former White House press secretary Tony Snow has died of cancer. He was 53.
The event is open to the public and will include, among its many participants, the President of the United States, George Bush.
The Archbishop of Washington DC, the Most Reverend Donald Wuerl will preside at the 10 AM Mass which will occur in the Shrine's Magnificent Upper Church. Joining with many priests in concelebrating the Sacred Liturgy will be the President of the Catholic University of America, Vincentian Priest Fr David O'Connell.
Known to so many as simply “Tony”, this devout Catholic Christian lived a “unity of life”. By that I mean that he lived his deeply held Catholic faith in an integrated way.
He was dedicated to the domestic church of his family, loved the Lord and His Church and was committed to pursuing excellence in his chosen profession. To him, there was no conflict. All of this he saw as a part of his Baptismal vocation.
A convert to the Catholic Christian faith, Tony Snow came into the full communion of the Catholic Church during his years in College.
Among those who influenced him was the now well know “Evangelizer” of so many leaders at the intersection of faith and culture, my friend Fr. C. J. McCloskey III. His evangelistic and pastoral work with so many over the years has literally helped to change the face of American Catholicism.
I caught up with Father John earlier today and asked him for his thoughts on the passing to eternal glory of Tony Snow.
“Tony was a close friend of mine and a serious practicing Catholic. He converted to our Faith in college and never lost it.
Aside from his evident human virtues, he was a man of deep faith and a model as to how a man could make holy his professional work and live out fully his faith with full allegiance to the Church's teachings on Faith and morals in the challenging environment of the media, politics, and government. .
“In addition, he exercised fully the apostolate of friendship with many people, high and low, through his example and personal interest he took in each person he met. He was one of the best formed Catholics in terms of reading of the Fathers, the Saints, and the Magisterium, I have ever met. May he rest in peace?
I look forward to seeing him again in a better place.”
Those who knew him all say that Tony Snow’s bout with cancer only deepened his faith. Last year he wrote concerning that experience for the Evangelical Protestant magazine, "Christianity Today".
Among the many profound insights contained in the article, Tony wrote these words:
"I don't know why I have cancer, and I don't much care. It is what it is—a plain and indisputable fact. Yet even while staring into a mirror darkly, great and stunning truths begin to take shape. Our maladies define a central feature of our existence: We are fallen. We are imperfect. Our bodies give out.
But despite this—because of it—God offers the possibility of salvation and grace. We don't know how the narrative of our lives will end, but we get to choose how to use the interval between now and the moment we meet our Creator face-to-face.
Second, we need to get past the anxiety. The mere thought of dying can send adrenaline flooding through your system. A dizzy, unfocused panic seizes you. Your heart thumps; your head swims. You think of nothingness and swoon. You fear partings; you worry about the impact on family and friends. You fidget and get nowhere.
To regain footing, remember that we were born not into death, but into life—and that the journey continues after we have finished our days on this earth. We accept this on faith, but that faith is nourished by a conviction that stirs even within many nonbelieving hearts—an intuition that the gift of life, once given, cannot be taken away.
Those who have been stricken enjoy the special privilege of being able to fight with their might, main, and faith to live—fully, richly, exuberantly—no matter how their days may be numbered.
Third, we can open our eyes and hearts. God relishes surprise. We want lives of simple, predictable ease—smooth, even trails as far as the eye can see—but God likes to go off-road. He provokes us with twists and turns.
He places us in predicaments that seem to defy our endurance and comprehension—and yet don't. By his love and grace, we persevere. The challenges that make our hearts leap and stomachs churn invariably strengthen our faith and grant measures of wisdom and joy we would not experience otherwise."
A man at peace with facing death as a final friend,Tony has finished the race. May "His Soul and the souls of all the faithful departed through the Mercy of God Rest in Peace”.
- - -
Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
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