Death has come to our house. I have been protected most of my life from death – the only deaths I remember were my four grandparents, my Godfather, a neighbor who was run over by a car, and John Paul II. But now someone very close has passed to the next world. Fr Antonio Izquerdo died of complications from cancer on December 30th.
Just over a year ago, he was our vigorous professor. I remember his classes in introduction to Sacred Scripture. He would stand behind the lectern but gesture with his hands and his voice. He came across as having a complete mastery over the material. Even more, many brothers in the community found a spiritual father in him – his list for spiritual direction filled up fast.
He was one of the best preachers for spiritual exercises. He combined his knowledge of the scriptures with a deep knowledge of the spiritual life. You could see how he prayed assisting at his mass.
You could see he was suffering recently; one day at breakfast his head fell forward onto his food and several had to wake him up and take him to see a doctor. I didn’t see much I could do but pray.
Now he is gone. I don’t know if I am better off to pray for him or pray to him. Right when he died, one brother came through the computer lab inviting each of us individually to pray a “Hail Mary” for him. I invite you to do the same now.