Nine years ago today Brian Dominick Frederick Titus Leo Brindley* died in the middle of his 70th Birthday Dinner and the North Library of the Athenæum, surrounded by those who had, as he put it, been significant in his life.
I wasn’t one of them; not least because although I had rejoiced in knowing him for quite a long time we had eventually fallen out spectacularly, several years previously, over the way he had treated two friends of mine : and indeed I have to admit to not even having been particularly distressed when I heard of his death. However, I cannot deny – and could not have done then – that he had been significant in my life.
That was then. Since then, I – like Brian – have come home to the Catholic Church, and I hope that I have at least begun to find my way to putting my soul into some sort of repair; and I have come to realize that whatever he did, if God could forgive him for it, I should certainly be able to : so today I pray for his soul, give thanks to God for the huge amount of good he did and the vast amounts of joy he gave, and pray too that, in my turn, my own failings may be kindly considered at the last day.
I know I’ve mentioned it before; but S. Philip Neri was right : whenever we pray the Lord’s Prayer, we are not just asking God to forgive us our sins . . . we are asking Him to forgive us our sins in the same way that we forgive others; which for most of us, I suspect, is ‘hardly at all’.
I’m sure I haven’t yet really learned how to forgive; but perhaps, thanks to Brian, I have come a little bit closer . . . .so that even now I have something to thank him for.
May he rest in peace, and rise in glory.
* I have put his full name as I knew it, together with the name he took at his Confirmation as a Catholic. If he had also discarded some of his former names then, I trust he will excuse me for mentioning them now.