Maintain the Light, Prepare the Way
I beg your urgent and fervent prayers for the safe rescue of my brother, Ben Horne, and his climbing partner, Gil Weiss, who are missing during an attempt to summit Palcaraju, a mountain in Peru. They are hungry, thirsty, likely injured, and we need them home safe. We have not heard from them in over two weeks, and they were expected back earlier this week at the latest. We hope they are alive and that rescuers are able to reach them soon.
Ben’s patron saint is St. John the Baptist, the last prophet before Christ. He prepared the way for Christ, and in a real way my brother prepared the way for my faith. He was my role model and inspiration as a teenager, and I chose him to be my confirmation sponsor. He has a deep love for the faith and for scripture.
Please pray for the intercession of Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati, himself a young man, a mountain climber, and lover of life. I am confident that Pier Giorgio is with these two men, bringing them comfort and aid and hope. In these situations, it is difficult to know the line between asking in confidence for God’s intercession, and resigning oneself to God’s will should your request not be granted. I have been praying and praying and praying for a miraculous survival, but know that gets more unlikely with each day, each hour that passes without good news.
One of Ben’s favorite mottoes is “Maintain the light.” This always reminds me of Sheriff Ed Tom Bell’s monologue that closes out the book and film No Country for Old Men, about a dream he had about his father:
“It was like we was both back in older times and I was on horseback goin through the mountains of a night, goin through this pass in the mountains. It was cold and snowin, hard ridin. Hard country. He rode past me and kept on goin. Never said nothin goin by. He just rode on past and he had his blanket wrapped around him and his head down, and when he rode past I seen he was carryin fire in a horn the way people used to do and I could see the horn from the light inside of it. About the color of the moon. And in the dream I knew that he was goin on ahead and that he was fixin to make a fire somewhere out there in all that dark and all that cold, and I knew that whenever I got there he would be there. Out there up ahead.
And then I woke up.”
I am praying for you tonight, Ben, as you are surrounded by all that dark. Maintain the light, and prepare the way out there and up ahead. I love you.