I’ve commented on the passing of Father Richard John Neuhaus on a number of blogs. It would be appropriate to do the same here.
I can’t remember who turned me on to First Things, but I believe it was actually a PCA pastor.
I began reading it in the late nineties and found it a needed antidote to much of the nonsense in the Evangellyfish and Charismaniac worlds at that time. The journal was provocative, challenging, great writing with wisdom well above my threshold of comprehension. And Neuhaus’ writing was the first thing I read.
When we moved out of our house and into the loft in 2001, I first wondered if our First Things subscription hadn’t made the move with us. Then I would occasionally see it in the mail, but before I could read it, it would disappear. And my ADDled brain would soon forget about it ’til I glimpsed it briefly at the beginning of the next month.
Now, the kids slept in loft beds in our new abode. Liam’s was well over eight feet above the 100 yr old maple floor.
I had noticed in the last few months we were in the house that Liam had become much more erudite in his thoughts on his faith and the world around him. The quality of conversation at the dinner table had gone up dramatically, as the ofttimes quiet eldest child engaged us with his thoughts. I did not connect this to anything in particular at the time. Liam was an avid reader. I chalked it up to that.
About six months into our loft move, Imbi had cause to climb the multiple elevations to Liam’s bed. She fully expected to find multiple books, and she did. She also found everyone of the First Things magazines well read in his bed. And there they remained. (To the best of my knowledge.)
I look forward to thanking Father Neuhaus when we meet in the next life for his profound impact on my oldest son. Would that I have had the opportunity for this good man to impact me in the same way. 🙂
Until we meet in heaven, Father John!