From: Mary Zimmerman
I recently attended a funeral I wonít soon forget - Father Lawrence Ginther. I personally donít care much for funerals, they seem so sad. I guess thatís partly because of my experience of them has been my own children, brothers, and parents. This was a 91-year-old person, a good God-fearing man, a humble priest, yet I would be lying if I said I didnít feel sad or didnít have tears welling up in my eyes. I felt a little better after a speaker mentioned death is really the key that opens up the gate to heaven. I also thought about the book I and many others are finding comfort in, ďThe Other Side,Ē by author Michael Brown. Itís all about peopleís near death experiences and the beauty and happiness of heaven. Then I was able to feel more of a sense of joy that this service was really more of a celebration for a good and holy manís life.
I never knew Father Ginther very well until a good friend of mine suggested we make a visit to his apartment. He was a retired priest due to health conditions but continued to say daily Mass in his home and welcomed anyone coming to seek his help or advice. I was always open to talking to anyone who could help me with my struggles with depression. I guess it took the concern and prayers of all the good priests and others to crumble the strong hold Satan had on my life. In the end God won this battle as He can all battles if we but ask (pray) and trust.
I started sending Father Ginther Mass intentions and he always replied with a thank you note along with extra sheets of paper with some jokes or prayers.
Father Ginther was a big supporter of my weekly articles in the Winona Post and encouraged me to keep writing. I do thrive on positive comments but thereís more to it than that. I firmly believe itís Godís will for me to do so.
In many of Father Gintherís last letters to me he indicated he wished to leave this world; with a number of health issues he no longer had much energy to keep on. We must be patient with Godís timing in all circumstances. He sees the whole picture and knows when we have developed to our fullest potential (a soul) in preparation for our eternal home. We must strive to work out the situations that keep us from entering the sanctuary of Godís heart.
Father Ginther had a few extra years on some of the saints. He lived them well in loving and helping others. On February 12, 2012, he heard the voice of God. ďCome home my good and faithful servant, your heavenly dwelling place is ready.Ē
Farewell Father Ginther.
The following inspirational words ďA Wish For You,Ē was sent to me by Father Ginther. I, in turn wish to dedicate these beautiful words to my children, grand and great-grandchildren and all my readers.
A Wish For You
I wish for your heart to always be loved, your hand to be held, and your voice to be heard...
I wish for your prayers to always be answered, your secrets to be kept, and your dreams to come true.
I wish for your desires to always be fulfilled, your beliefs to be spoken and your generosity to be appreciated.
I wish for your kindness to always be returned, your trust to never be broken, and your happiness to never end.
I wish for you courage to always be strong, your pride to never be hurt, and your challenges to be conquered.
I wish for your life to always be treasured...
and your treasure to always be life.
I wish for you to always feel deeply loved...because you are.
Father Ginther also shared a lot of jokes with me, but not this one, so Iíd like to dedicate this one to him.
P.S. It didnít have a name, it could be named the experience of an atheist.
An atheist was walking through the woods, admiring all its beauty, including the animals. Suddenly a 7-foot grizzly bear charged toward him. The atheist tripped and fell on the ground, crying out ďOh, my God!Ē A bright light shone upon the man, a voice came out of the sky...ĒYou deny my existence for all these years, do you now expect me to help you out of this predicament?Ē ďNo, I canít suddenly expect you to treat me as a Christian, but perhaps you could make the bear a Christian.Ē ďVery well,Ē said the voice. The bear instantly brought both paws together, bowed his head and spoke, ďLord bless this food which I am about to receive from thy bounty through Christ Our Lord, Amen.Ē