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To: annalex

Here’s the obituary from the “Tulsa World”:

7 posted on 04/03/2008 3:34:13 PM PDT by Tax-chick ("Everything is either willed or permitted by God, and nothing can hurt me." Bl. Charles de Foucauld)
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To: Tax-chick; Polycarp
Let me quote from you, since you won't do it yourself:


Last week, a man died in Tulsa - a man who, by the world’s standards, was a fool and a failure. Ten years ago, Larry Lewis was a prominent and successful Protestant minister and gospel singer. He pastored a United Methodist church and was working toward his PhD at Oral Roberts University. Then, God’s mysterious providence began to lead Larry in an unexpected direction.
A coworker of Larry’s wife Joetta began studying the Catholic Faith. Hoping to convince her friend of the errors of Catholicism, Joetta brought home Catholic materials for Larry, with his Bible knowledge, to refute. To their surprise, they found that all the Catholic teachings were consistent with Scripture. In a remarkably short time, the Lewises realized that they faced a frightening future.
Larry could not continue as a Protestant minister, knowing that he could never feed his flock the true food, the Body and Blood of Christ. He resigned his position, sacrificing his status, his salary and his pension. A week later, Joetta was laid off from her job, leaving the couple without income.
The Lewises were received into the Catholic Church in the late 1990’s at St. Benedict’s. Unsure what their future held, they sold their house in Tulsa and went on a pilgrimage to Rome. They returned with a commission from the Holy Father, to serve the Church by working for reconciliation among Christians. The Lewises shared their story and their vision of “One Body” with Catholic and Protestant groups around the country. Their ministry touched many souls.
Then, after only a few years in his new apostolate, Larry suddenly died at the age of 58. To all outward appearances, his great sacrifice produced very little fruit. Why, then, was the crowd at his funeral singing joyfully to God, through their tears? Because Christ has overcome the world. Because, knowing Larry Lewis and his story, they knew that he gladly gave up everything else out of love for Christ in the Eucharist and the Holy Catholic Church. Because they knew that true success is determined by who you are, not by what you do or have, and Larry was a person who could give up his career, his security, and his family’s approval out of love for the Blessed Sacrament and the Blessed Mother. He was successful beyond all human comprehension.
How do we measure success, as homeschooling parents? What do we want to see our children achieve? Maybe we see “success” in high test scores, victories in academic or sporting competitions, popularity, admission to prestigious universities, scholarships. Do we look for our children to “achieve” a commitment to authentically Catholic life, or a faith that will stand up to trials? If we imagine their bright futures … high school, college, graduate school, careers … do we also see the other side of the world’s view of “success” … years of single life, endless threats to purity, late marriage, debt, workaholism, contraception, infertility, day care, divorce … indifference to the Catholic Faith?
As adults, is our “success” measured by our professions, salaries, houses, cars, trips, social prominence … or by our growth in holiness, our increasing ability to lay down our lives for others, our growing detachment from the things of the world, our greater love for Christ, His mother, His commandments, and His Church?
Maybe any unexpected death could raise questions of this kind. If these reflections seem a little extreme, it’s because Larry Lewis was not just “any” friend or fellow parishioner. He was a giant. In the last two years, God has taken two of the “mighty men” of our Diocese, Larry, and Deacon Lee Ellis. We can be sure that God also wills to raise up many more to fill their places. Who will they be? Some were in the congregation at Larry’s funeral. Some are sitting near us, in our parishes, every Sunday. Some may be our sons, or our husbands. All of them need to be called forth, encouraged, and challenged to see beyond the world, to see God and give everything for Him, right now, in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Robin Mark, a Protestant musician and evangelist in Northern Ireland, is like Larry Lewis in working tirelessly for reconciliation among Christians. He wrote these words, which speak eloquently of why Larry Lewis was a success, in the only true meaning of the word:

“When it’s all been said and done,
There is just one thing that matters:
Did I do my best to live for Truth?
Did I live my life for You?

When it’s all been said and done,
All my treasures will be nothing;
Only what I’ve done for Love’s reward
Will stand the test of time.

Lord, your mercy is so great,
That you look beyond our weakness,
And find purest gold in miry clay,
Making sinners into saints!

And I will always sing Your praise,
Here on earth and ever after.
For You’ve shown me Heaven’s my true home,
When it’s all been said and done,
You’re my life, when life is done.

Catholic Caucus: Death of Catholic evangelist Larry Lewis

10 posted on 04/03/2008 3:39:47 PM PDT by annalex (
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