Linen On The Hedgerow

We were informed today that Richard Collins, the author of the “Linen on the Hedgerow” blog, is about to die. Sadly, he may be already dead when this post is published.

I wasn't the most assiduous reader of the “Linen on the Hedgetow” blog, but I certainly visited the site with, let us say, regular irregularity. I always liked it, and his author with him. His posts had become more sporadic, and with it my visits. I had missed the one with the news about his cancer, which – as I discovered today – he published at the end of August.

It is, in these circumstances, probably the custom to say “we had our differences, but we liked each other a lot”. Unfortunately, I am not aware of any difference at all that I can remember – and I don't forget easily – and will therefore have to say that to my recollection, and at least as far as I am concerned, we did not have differences, and I liked him a lot. There are not many bigger, more sincere compliments I could pay to anyone, particularly a Catholic blogger.

Mr Collins had, though, a different style. He seemed to me an oldish, serene Welsh gentleman writing about Catholicism with a peacefulness I find difficult to maintain, and I do not know whether his gentle, but forceful message was the product of the gentle seasoning with which time graces us, or a virtue that had always been there. In both cases, one could not do anything else than appreciate it, and think a fortunate garden the one that had such a hedgerow, and linen very satisfied with their lot as they rest on that very hedge, basking in the Welsh sun.

Mr Collins is about to leave us. If he is able to read me – which I doubt – I would like to give him my symbolic pat on the back, and my humble appreciation for his sterling work. If he isn't, I hope that my little name, not unknown to him, will be reported to him among the many which, no doubt, are now sending to him their best wishes and, like me, assuring him of their prayers.

Mr Collins has, though, some privileges I would like to bring to your attention.

To spend one's last earthly hours among loving relatives, with the comfort of the Sacraments, and with the tranquil knowledge of having been a soldier of Christ's army to the end must be a great comfort. It must be, in its own sad way, even sweet.

I doubt I will have the same privilege. I would gladly settle for one of the three only – the Last Rites, of course -; but I might, like many of us, die in times of priests too busy with their social work to send us properly on our way to eternity. This, assuming the possibility is there in the first place.

It is a sad, but realistic reflection that fewer and fewer of us will, in the decades to come, enjoy Mr Collins' graces in our last hours. Let Francis work his … sorcery for some other year, and the not at all coveted title of Last Christian In The Family will be the lot of many of us. Those who die this year might be spared a lot compared with those who will witness an unprecedented attack on all that is holy in their lifetime.

And therefore, and without making it too long, I will allow myself, whilst praying for Mr Collins, to be given in my own hour the same graces that are, today, given to him: the sweetness of dying among people who love one, with a clean conscience, and with the infinite peace that must come from Forgiveness asked and received.

Please accept my compliments and my prayers, Mr Collins. I assure you I will not canonise you after you have died; which means that I will say one or three “eternal rest” for you whenever I think of your beautiful effort.

Enjoy your company, Mr Collins, as much as you can. The love of those you love. The sense of accomplishment. The beauty of forgiveness.

Not many of us will be able to get such a first-class treatment, as you.





Posted on October 8, 2014, in Catholicism, Conservative Catholicism, Traditional Catholicism. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Eternal rest be granted to Mr Collins, O Lord, and may perpetual Light shine upon him.

  2. You made me cry.
    Eternal rest grant onto him O Lord
    And may perpetual light shine upon him,

  3. 3littleshepherds

    We have and will continue to pray for Mr. Collins. I enjoyed his warm gentle humor and his peacefulness.

  4. No greater accolade could be offered up for a soul than that Mundabor never disagreed with him. May he rest in peace.

  5. Prayers for Mr. Collins family and for the repose of his soul. A very kind tribute from you as well M.

  6. I share your opinion of Richard…we linked to each others site, but beyond that I only know him through his writings, which are always enjoyable. I’ll keep him and his family on the prayer list.

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