Every so often, someone comes into my life and leaves an indelible impression upon me. No matter that relocation may separate us for years at a time, it feels like yesterday when we finally do meet again. That’s the way it was with Fr. Edward Myers, formerly of St. Mary’s parish in Rahway, who passed away last week in Florida.
I have known Fr. Myers since I was thirteen years old. But back then I had no idea how much of an influence he would have on my life, for the rest of my life. But he was first and foremost a real human being. He assured me, in my time of need, that he was not always prayerful, patient or cheerful, when he needed to be. He reminded me that we are always human before we are holy.
On one occasion when I expressed uncertainty about a direction to take with my life, Fr. Myers told me the story about the doubts he had about becoming a priest. He said he met with his superior just two weeks before his final vows were to be taken and explained that he just didn’t feel changed or pious enough for the priesthood. The superior laughed and said he wasn’t supposed to feel that way. God wanted him just the way he was and would work on the improvement plan later.
During a rough time in my life, Fr. Myers again came to my rescue after a difficult relationship finally ended. He assured me that even Jesus knew that kind of pain and was betrayed by someone He trusted. Then he just let me cry it out, patiently handing me tissue after tissue.
Here’s another little known secret about this magnificent priest. He once confessed to me that he originally dreaded his assignment as chaplain to Rahway Hospital because he intensely disliked being around sick people. Well, he became a living legend there, known for his solid commitment and warm sense of humor to those who needed it most.
God does, indeed, work in mysterious ways.
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