So I will mourn him. I will pray for the repose of his soul, and for the comfort and strengthening of his wife and family. I am reminded of a homily I once heard preached by the Right Reverend Robert Duncan, Episcopal Bishop of Pittsburgh, while he was still the Episcopal chaplain at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It was on the occasion of the feast of St. Bartholomew. Fr. Duncan pointed out that we know very little about the Apostle Bartholomew, other than that he was faithful. That's not much to know about a person, but in the Christian context, it is quite enough. C. S. Lewis wrote, in his redoubtable essay "The Weight of Glory", that the most important promise offered to us in the New Testament is the promise that we will be glorified in Christ. He considers what "glory" means in this context, and he worries that it seems odd to look forward to something very like "fame" or "good reputation" if one is supposed to be a humble, self-effacing Christian. But this is not what it means to be glorified in Christ:
When I began to look into this matter I was shocked to find such different Christians as Milton, Johnson and Thomas Aquinas taking heavenly glory quite frankly in the sense of fame or good report. But not fame conferred by our fellow creatures--fame with God, approval or (I might say) "appreciation" by God. And then, when I had thought it over, I saw that this view was scriptural; nothing can eliminate from the parable the divine accolade, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant." With that, a good deal of what I had been thinking all my life fell down like a house of cards...In thinking about the passing of Michael Dubruiel I cannot think much about him, since I know so little about him. What I can think about him, because I do know this much, is that he was faithful, and so I can say--I hope, with my Lord--Well done, thou good and faithful servant.
...what I had mistaken for humility had, all these years, prevented me from understanding what is in fact the humblest, the most childlike, the most creaturely of pleasures--nay, the specific pleasure of the inferior: the pleasure of a beast before men, a child before its father, a pupil before his teacher, a creature before its Creator...and that is enough to raise our thoughts to what may happen when the redeemed soul, beyond all hope and nearly beyond belief, learns at last that she has pleased Him whom she was created to please. There will be no room for vanity then. She will be free from the miserable illusion that it is her doing.
Requiem aeternam dona ei, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat ei. Requiescat in pace.