During one of our last few evenings before he suffered the last series of strokes, I came to him and ask him to forgive me and to pray for me when he arrived in heaven. I remember him replying, “you pray for me… God forgives all.”
It was a very cold November day. I couldn’t get warm all day. I sat there at his bedside. We sat in silence for a while. Then I ask him, “Fr. L. … how do you know that the Holy Spirit is present?”
He layed there silently. I thought he didn’t hear me. He then turned and looked directly at me and ask me, “are you cold now?”
I hadn’t told him that I was cold… but I suddenly became aware that I was wonderfully warm and peaceful. I was not aware of the change till he had ask me. Much the same as no(w) retelling this story… I am still in awe. Peace seemed to radiate from him. We again sat in silence… I did not want the moment to end.
The following are a series of short stories or more simply, memories of the time I was blessed to spend with Fr. Lazarus Moore.
Fr. Lazarus came to our community and lived with Dn. Mark and Dianne. I was living in the community house called the Big House. It was across the street from the Cranors home. For a long time I would watch Fr. Lazarus walk his daily walks down Monastery Drive. I was afraid to approach him.
I had been watching Fr. Lazarus from a distance for some time, but did not approach him, as I was afraid of him. What was I going to say to a monk? I did not see him in the light of a spiritual father at the time. I simply saw and interesting character and wanted to hear stories about his adventures. I think I felt sorry for him too. I thought he was an old man without a family or home and that somehow to entertain him would be helping him in some way. I didn’t understand the life of a monk and was trying to “socialize” him all the time? Poor Fr. Lazarus patiently endured and taught me to love God and my neighbor in the process.
How did I have the courage to meet him? Dominica Dianne opened her door for me. She offered me the opportunity to trim his beard and his hair. Before I was the church janitor I had been a hairdresser. She had always cut his hair in the past and did a wonderful job, but nonetheless offered me the job? I am ever grateful for her unselfishness to allow me into her home and their lives.
With much shyness and trembling I came to trim his hair and to hear stories of his life. I was also curious about what a monk was.
This opened up one of the most wonderful relationships I’ve ever experienced! We disagreed… we forgave… we laughed… we mourned… and we prayed together. Most importantly he taught me to love God and to look for God in my neighbor.
What I have tried to do is to share a few of the memories that keep coming back to me over and over… they have become part of my life.
Pray for us Fr. Lazarus… and forgive me.