"I remember leaving a friend with those words about 8 years ago now. Still waiting for and expecting that call...."
Keep that friend in your prayers . . . while there is life, there is hope.
Last week we buried a cousin who renounced God and the Church. While he seemed to have mellowed in recent years, and certainly was aware of his limited mortality due to a bad heart -- he did not come back to church, and had a short service at the funeral home. Maybe he was close to God in some way . . . we can't judge. But it makes me sick inside . . . I feel, if he had submitted himself to God and God's will, wouldn't he have returned to church??
With him, I think it was merely the refusal to submit himself to a higher authority: the Church, even God himself . . . Sounds familiar in the fall of Lucifer . . . guess it can still happen.
I will get a Mass said for him -- a kind of sweet revenge ;). If he still felt the way at death that he did before, he will roll over in his grave at the idea of it, but he can't stop me from doing it!
My ex-husband has been a lifelong atheist. He was the most immovable sort of atheist: a professor, very worldly and sophisticated, convinced he knew everything, consumed with pride and narcissism. His narcissism eventually led him into crime and depravity, because he was convinced that there was no such thing as God or Satan, right or wrong, just "what he liked" and "what he didn't like." He thought he was above the laws that apply to ordinary, stupid people, and was full of contempt for churches and Christians. My growing faith was one of the things that parted us. We were divorced more than seven years ago.
About two years ago our little son, then eight, decided that he wanted to be baptized, and in his innocence wanted his daddy to see the fine service our church holds. So my ex came to church, rather resentfully, expecting to see the pastor a charlatan and the snakes big and fat. Instead, he admitted that the pastor appeared to be a very literate and very sincere man. Subsequently we began having a security issue--I had a stalker who was coming to church and following me around--and my ex decided that he had to come to church to serve as bodyguard to me and my kids. So for the next several months he had to sit and listen to the pastor every Sunday for an hour and a half.
He subsequently went away to pay for his crimes. When he returned, five months later, he was right back to church. One sees him praying now, taking communion, weeping as the pastor gently preaches a message that hits home, or sometimes going up to to the altar for special prayer. It won't be long now. It's taken 64 years, but the nasty atheist has turned into an understanding and supportive daddy who is doing his best to help his kids and is taking them to church every Sunday. He is humble now, the first to admit that people who have little formal education can be very well-educated indeed. Praise God!--prayer works.