still close

Nov 2, 2014

Today, November 2, the Church celebrates the Feast of All Souls. The month of November is marked as the month of Holy Souls. In this month we take pause to remember those who have died. We pray for those whom we have loved in life on earth. We pray for those who have loved us. We also remember those who have no one to remember them.
It is traditional to take time in November to visit the graves of our loved ones. Pope Benedict reflected beautifully on this a couple of years ago:

“…the Church invites us to commemorate all the faithful departed, to turn our eyes to the many faces who have gone before us and who have ended their earthly journey…during these days we go to the cemetery to pray for the loved ones who have left us, as it were paying a visit to show them, once more, our love, to feel them still close, remembering also, and article of the creed: in the communion of saints there is a close bond between us who are still walking here upon the earth and those many brothers and sisters who have already entered eternity.

“Human beings have always cared for their dead and sought to give them a sort of second life through attention, care and affection, In a way, we want to preserve their experience of life; and paradoxically by looking at their graves, before which countless memories return, we discover how they lived, what they loved, what they feared, what they hoped for and what they hated, They are almost a mirror of their world.”

Pope Benedict XVI. All Souls Day 2011

This is also a good opportunity to teach children about our Christian confidence in death as the transition to the fulness of life. Children learn most easily with experience. To take your children to the graves of friends and family, and to teach them about the cemetery as a place of Christian hope, is a certain way to overcome Halloween fears about the cemetery as a spooky place.
The Good Shepherd cemetery visit timetable is online at www.catholichurunui.nz

2 Comments

  1. This day Terry and I begin a 30 day retreat, aware of all the Holy Souls who have laid the foundations of the Church, and those who have given us life as individuals. We remember the words of Samoan poet Albert Wendt: “Our ancestors are the beautiful robes our souls wear.”
    Those ancestors may be beyond our limited vision, but they are still with us both physically and spiritually. Thank you for this reminder.

    Reply
    • Joy & Terry know that I am with you, united prayer, especially as you journey with Ignatius over the next month.

      Reply

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