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November 18, 2004

A Lover at Rest

An oasis of prayer and beauty in cyberspace celebrating the romance of orthodoxy

Those are words that Gerard Bugge, known around St. Blogs as Gerard Serafim, typed into his computer as the description of his Web site, A Catholic Page for Lovers, probably about eight or nine years ago when he started it. I first came across Gerard's page in the early days of my conversion while looking for Web sites to visit when I needed to refresh my spirit, to inhale a sort of mystic breath. And a quote from Hans Urs von Balthasar by which Gerard concisely explained his Web site's curious title announced that I'd found just that:

The first thing that must strike a non-Christian about a Christian's faith is that it is all too daring. It is too beautiful to be true: The mystery of being, unveiled as absolute love, coming down to wash the feet and the souls of its creatures; a love that assumes the whole burden of our guilt and hate, that accepts the accusations that shower down.. all the scorn and contempt that nails down his incomprehensible movement of self-abasement -- all this absolute love accepts in order to excuse his creature before himself...

What an open field of souls, this Internet! We drift here to there, meeting people we wish we could know, in a sense knowing them, then slipping away in the formless crowd, not forgetting, but not quite remembering.

A book on the shelf or a letter in the drawer is a tangible representative of its writer. We put it away for a time, free to forget, because it will find us in our rummaging. Not so, the patterned bytes of the online universe. Those are there, but not really there. They aren't in the home, in the drawer, in the hands. But they are in the heart, even though how long they will remain... out there... none can say.

Well, Gerard will remain ever there. Stopping at the computer to type a note, before heading out to Pennsylvania, mentioning lost items and his health.

I will be seeing my main doctor this Thursday, God willing. Let's hope for the best.

And that's where I, for one, will keep you, Gerard — hoping for the best before you turn off the computer, exit the house, head off, and find God willing to spare you from waking to that anxiety-laden day of meeting your main doctor. Hoping for the best, Mr. Seraphim, that our Lord holds you in His arms even now.

Posted by Justin Katz at November 18, 2004 10:34 PM

Thank you for posting this tribute to Gerard and the Welcome! A Catholic Page for Lovers. That web site always brings inspiration, comfort, beautiful and fascinating treasures. May God rest our friend. He did a great kindness to us in building such a lovely space for the Praise and Glory of God.

Posted by: M at March 29, 2005 10:27 PM