The death of the 'Iron Lady' has provoked reaction from all corners of the political world left, right and centre. What are we to do?
As a newly ordained deacon I remember preparing to take my first funeral serivce at the crematorium chapel. I went to see the family of the deceased and they painted a lovely picture of the man who had died, their father. I came back to the presbytery and started work on my homily for the funeral.
As I was making a few notes the phone rang. A voice on the other end of the phone asked if I was conducting a funberal on Friday. I told the lady caller that I was and had been to see the family and from what they had told me he seemed to be a nice man.
We all learn from our mistakes. The lady then told me she was his ex wife and that he was a horrible perosn and ordered me to say nothing good about him and she would be at the funeral to make sure I didn't!
HELP! What was I to do? I now had two very conflicting views about the same peroson. The two boys saw him as a kind and loving father. The ex wife had a very different view.
I consulted an older and wiser priest in the community for advice. He told me to say nothing about the deceased and to preach on the duty that we all have (in charity) to pray for those who have died. I followed his advice and the funeral went off without a hitch.
As the political world prepares to lay Margaret to her rest tensions are running high. No matter what our political leanings we can all at least offer one prayer for Margaret on the day of her funeral that the Lord be merciful to her. May she rest in peace.