I just read a story about Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neil. “Reagan, the 40th President of the United States and O’Neill, Speaker of the House of Representatives, were two political opposites…. fierce adversaries. The story goes that following the assassination attempt on Reagan, O’Neill was one of the first people to visit him at George Washington University Hospital. When O’Neill entered Reagan’s hospital room, “he walked over to the bed and grasped both the president’s hands, and said, ‘God bless you, Mr. President.’ When Reagan saw Tip, he lit up and gave the speaker a big smile, and said, ‘Thanks for coming, Tip.’ Then, still holding one of the president’s hands, the speaker got down on his knees and said he would like to offer a prayer for the president, choosing the 23rd Psalm.” Then O’Neill kissed Reagan on the forehead.”
It can be difficult to have serious disagreements with someone and still maintain a good relationship. It seems that Reagan and O’Neil were able to do this.
I recently read about another person who even outshined them …. St. Edmund Campion. Edmund Campion, priest and martyr, was an eloquent defender of the faith…. sometimes referred to as “England’s Cicero”. After being caught and sentenced to torture and death for being a Catholic priest in 16th century England, “he courteously requested the chance to defend the faith before the most
influential persons in the kingdom. His opportunity came when, brought straight from the rack, he faced a group of Queen Elizabeth’s learned men.
After six hours of questioning, an eyewitness recalled: “I heard Mister Campion reply to the subtleties of his adversaries so easily and so readily and bear so patiently all the abuse, even the heretics admired him exceedingly.” Nonetheless, Campion was martyred. “I have no more to say but to recommend your case and mine to Almighty God…to the end we may at last be friends in heaven, when all injuries shall be forgotten.” (MAGNIFICAT 5-11-23)
In both of these wonderful stories the “finger prints” of the Holy Spirit can be seen; love winning out despite fundamental disagreements. Reagan and O’Neil treated each other with respect and kindness in the midst of these differences. St. Edmund Campion still prayed and hoped for the salvation of his persecutors even in the midst of his sufferings; the words of Jesus must have been echoing in his ears ….. ” Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34),
When love prevails, it’s possible to actually have difficult discussions. A dear friend use to say “if you love God and love each other more at the end of the meeting than when you began, it was a good meeting.” As we look to spread the good news of Jesus Christ, let us have love as our foundation…love of God and love of our neighbor. When love prevails, all truth has a chance to take root. And that is very good news.
2 thoughts on ““Friends In Heaven, When All Injuries Shall Be Forgotten””
I had a very difficult meeting yesterday and at the end, was very moved with admiration and love for the other person. Thank you Jesus, thank you Holy Spirit.
Thank you Jesus for the gift of love which knows no bounds. ICor 13 has convicted me countless times. Lord Jesus, please continue to give us the gift of speaking the truth in love🙏