November begins, in the Church, with the great feast of All Saints, followed the next day by the Commemoration of All Souls. And then a bit further into November we have Remembrance. These, together with the evidence of the dying of the year which is there for us all to see, sets quite a sombre note. Also today our community have our Annual Mass for the Dead at New Hall with the possibility of a visit to our cemetery.
Our attachments this week look at Saints – Pope Francis’s reflections; retirement; grieving (for a younger person); and living fully until our death. We hope there is something here for everyone. We will see if we can do something separately on Remembrance next week.
The blessing this week is from Heavenly Peace, ‘Bless to me, O God’. Maybe we can extend it to anyone we have thought about as we have looked at some of these Reflections. If ever you want to forward the Saturday Reflection or any part of it to anyone, please do so. And if you know of anyone who would like to be on the mailing list for it, do let us know.
Wishing you a good week & with our love & prayer
Pope Francis: Saints.
The saints were real people whose strength to face daily challenges came from the grace of Jesus Christ, showing that everyone can be holy. The saints of all times, which we all celebrate together today, are not simply symbols, distant human beings, unreachable. On the contrary, they are people who have lived with their feet on the ground. They have experienced the daily toil of existence with its successes and its failures, finding in the Lord the strength to always get up and continue the journey.
The saints demonstrate that holiness is not achieved alone, but is the fruit of the grace of God and of our free response to it.
Holiness is not only a gift from God, it is the common vocation of the disciples of Christ.
Responding to God’s call to be holy, and accepting the gift of his grace, means taking a serious and daily commitment to sanctification in the conditions, duties and circumstances of our life, trying to live everything with love and with charity.
The Church has many examples of how to live with charity, both in the canonized saints in heaven as well as those who live in one’s community, even next door, and are witnesses of holiness.
BLESSING FOR RETIREMENT
This is where your life has arrived,
After all the years of effort and toil;
Look back with graciousness and thanks
On all your great and quiet achievements.
You stand on the shore of new invitation
To open your life to what is left undone;
Let your heart enjoy a different rhythm
When drawn to the wonder of other horizons.
Have the courage for a new approach to time;
Allow it to slow until you find freedom
To draw alongside the mystery you hold
And befriend your own beauty of soul.
Now is the time to enjoy your heart’s desire,
To live the dreams you’ve waited for,
To awaken the depths beyond your work
And enter into your infinite source.
Dying in order to live more fully.
I believe in death.
I believe that it is part of life.
I believe that we are born to die,
To die that we may live more fully;
Born to die a little each day
And to sin.
I believe that every time we pass
From one stage of life to another,
Something in us dies
And something new is born.
I believe we taste death
In moments of loneliness, rejection,
Sorrow, disappointment, & failure.
I believe that we are dying before our time
When we live in bitterness,
And in isolation.
I believe that each day
We are creating our own death
By the way we live.
For those with faith,
Death is not extinguishing the light;
It is putting out the lamp because the dawn has come.
Prayer for Grieving a Young Person
who blesses those that mourn
and do not hurry into being comforted,
we sit down into the loss
of those we know,
and those that now
we’ll never have a chance to know.
We grieve the stories they will not live,
the songs they will not sing,
the children they will not have,
the hope they will not offer
to those around them,
the inventions they will not patent,
the art, poetry, ink, music,
shingling a house, legal argument,
good tune-up and tire rotation,
diagnosis, surgical procedure,
gentle placement of a ventilator,
dental cleaning, quilt,
produce counter stocking,
life-guard undertow rescue,
lullaby, recipe and vote
that will never be made.
We grieve the birthday candles
on cakes they will never taste.
We grieve for their parents
and their children, their families,
their colleagues and their friends.
We grieve memories slipping away
waiting for memorial services.
We grieve that the very sadness
ebbs away from weariness
or the new whisper of good news.
Comfort us, we pray. amen
Maren Tirabassi, Gifts in Open Hands