I received the news yesterday that Stratford Caldecott, the preeminent English Catholic author whom I’ve written about before, has fallen asleep in the Lord last night at the all-too-early age of 60.
After such a heroic fight, and with the love of his amazing family, he still has words that will shine bright in this world. We were never thankful enough for him. If you are unfamiliar, I actually think this essay, written a mere couple of months before his death, is one of the most powerful works by the Good Man. In it, Mr. Caldecott reflects,
God entered deeply into the world—so deeply that we can call it a merging, a uniting of his own nature with the world itself. It is no illusion, but a real uniting. We can participate by joining in the rhythm of life and death. God hides himself deeply within the world, not as an extension of life, such as an experience or two, but as the totality of being. At first it all seems inaccessible and impossible. The Cross seems impossible, incredible. It seems foolish, crazy. But we must join fully, deeply, truly. And we must start as soon as possible.
I will be writing more about Stratford, his work, and his amazing life in the next couple of days, but for now I would like to invite all of you who are inclined to please join me in praying for him.
Christ our eternal King and God, You have destroyed death and the devil by Your Cross and have restored man to life by Your Resurrection; give rest, Lord, to the soul of Your servant, Stratford Caldecott, who has fallen asleep, in Your Kingdom, where there is no pain, sorrow or suffering. In Your goodness and love for all men, pardon all the sins he has committed in thought word or deed, for there is no man or woman who lives and sins not, You only are without sin.
For You are the Resurrection, the Life, and Repose of Your servant Stratford, departed this life, O Christ our God; and to You do we send up glory with Your Eternal Father and Your All-holy, Good and Life-creating Spirit; both now and forever and to the ages of ages. Amen.
Stratford Caldecott reading The Ballad of the White Horse to a group of us next to the Uffington White Horse. Some of my most pleasant memories.