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Widow (entered heaven in 550)
Here’s a thought experiment for you: imagine that you are lying in bed dying from cancer. You can’t sleep because of the pain. Suddenly St Peter appears to you at the foot of the bed. He’s looking right at you, as if waiting for you to say something. What would you say? Seriously, think about it. What would you say?
That scene actually happened to today’s saint, and what she said holds a lesson for us all. When she spotted St Peter she immediately asked him, “Are my sins forgiven?” As always, the words reveal the heart. As this young widow (she was widowed after only one year of marriage, after which she determined to consecrate her life completely to Christ, even though she was wealthy, beautiful, and well respected; everyone tried to dissuade her – her doctors even said that if she didn’t marry again she would grow a beard – but to no avail; she heard the call of a bridegroom they could not see), so as she lay dying of breast cancer, her concern was the state of her soul. She was a consecrated woman, well along on the road to holiness, yet she recognized that she was a sinner, and she deeply regretted the offense her sins had caused her Lord. She had probably been asking forgiveness for her spasms of selfishness even while she lay there suffering, and so the first words out of her mouth when St Peter appears ask whether she has pleased her divine husband or not.
What a lesson! We so easily focus on the state of our bodies, or our emotions, or our relationships, or our careers, oftentimes completely ignoring the state of our souls. Our friendship with Christ is a real friendship, and when we go along living selfishly and comfortably, it pains him. Galla knew this, but do we?
Oh. I am sorry. Have I been raving again? Do forgive me. I have completely ignored the question you asked in your note. The name you are looking for is Michael Campbell – that’s the grandfather on our mother’s side, so it would be your great grandfather. I think he came over to South America originally and made his way north. Let me know what your research uncovers. In the meantime, count on my prayers.
God bless, Uncle Eddy