The Path of Life

The Path of Life

Tuesday, May 12, 2015


Last evening, the monk who has lived across the hall from me since I made solemn vows in 2011 passed over to his eternal reward. Fr. Aelred Cody, O.S.B., 83, had been in declining health for several years, but the decline became more precipitous in the last couple of weeks. You can read his obituary here.

The term "one of a kind" is cliché, but in Fr. Aelred's case, it applies. Fr. Aelred himself, on the other hand, was anything but cliché. Two words come to mind when I think of him: brilliant and unforgettable. Those who knew him, I'm sure, would agree with that assessment. 

The obituary link above provides only a passing glimpse into Fr. Aelred's brilliant nature. So, too, do the pages in any New American Bible crediting editors and translators (pick up your Bible, and flip to the credits, and there you will find his name). Known and consulted the world over for his ecclesial, historical, and linguistic acumen (he knew a couple dozen languages, including some of the most archaic), he couldn't have cared less about such status. He was a monk through and through.

And he was unforgettable--both enigmatic and eccentric--in ways I could not even begin to describe. At the little reception after I was invested as a novice in 2007, my sister and Fr. Aelred got caught up in a long conversation. After a while, she came over to me and asked, "Who is that?" Then she went back over to continue the conversation. Unforgettable.

Requiescat in pace.

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