As I was preparing my homily for the New Year – Feast of Mary Mother of God, I came across Deacon Greg Kandra’s web site: The Deacon’s Bench. In his homily for the New Year he refers to a Martha Mason, of Lattimore, North Carolina. Martha was a survivor of Polio but lived in an iron lung for 61 years. The New York Times reported on her death this May 2009: Martha Mason, Who Wrote Book About Her Decades in an Iron Lung, Dies at 71. The story is truly inspirational, but also scary, when you think about it. Here is a quote that reflects both: "I live in a stable of nightmares," she once wrote, "but hope keeps them in harness."
In my homily for this weekend (the preached version only), I made reference to this absolutely heroic life; a life that inspires hope, meaning, and thankfulness in any one who knew her or reads about her.