I attended two funerals this month. Both were performed using the Roman Catholic Rite; were of 90 years old parents of big families;were parents of my neighbors. These two parents, one man, one woman, lived lives that the psydo-pundits of today would call “old fashion virtues”. These two people remained faithful to his/her spouse until parted by death. They worked to put food in the bellies of their children and a thirst for truth and knowledge in their hearts. They helped to put their children through college; they established family rituals which gathered the clan together for important occasions; they produced adults who are productive citizens and loving parents.
The funerals of the parents of my neighbors reminded me of those of my own parents who 1) practiced “old fashion virtues” 2) died in their 90’s. These memories warmed and saddened me. It seems to me that the bell is tolling, not just for the departed, not just for each individual, but for a way of life slowly ebbing away. What will the next generation create in its place?