Saints & Souls
There is something about this time of year with the crisp colors, costumes and even the candy that I just love. Beyond the obvious fall favorites, l think this is really one of those times of the year when the impact of what it means to belong to a Catholic/Christian faith tradition powerfully strikes home. We reflect on time past and things eternal; reflect on the fleeting passage and temporal finitude of life; reflect on things that make us frightened and a faith that makes us hold on in hope. I find it awesome and humbling to recall all the human life who have ever lived and died since humans appeared on this earth, and what our saving God offers. October 31st, November 1st and 2nd can be called “Hallowtide” or the “Days of the Dead” because on these days we pray for or remember those who have died. This triduum centers around All Saints’ Day (a.k.a. All Hallows’), when we celebrate the Church Triumphant and all the Saints in Glory. On the day after All Hallows’, we remember the already saved souls in purgatory being cleansed of the temporal effects of their sins before they rejoice in Heaven. The day that comes before All Hallows’, though, is one on which we unofficially remember the damned and those things that might scare us or try to make us fall from hope in Christ. What always amazes me is that this triduum really begs us to remember that God is head over heels in love with us, wants us to be with Him in paradisium, and is somehow glorified in this both beautiful (and at times wretched) world. Maybe that is why the month of November can stir up so much within us, because it lays open our restlessness, our struggle dealing with unanswered questions about pain, loss and death. But please don't forget the perfect truth this month brings as well, that nothing can ever separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus.
While I was on retreat, I spoke with Maryanne Hamilton, who over 23 years ago was asked by Fr. Schleicher in the cafeteria to start up a contemporary music group...and with a faithful band of music minister friends (Tim Yeager, Mariza Meredith, Donna McDonald, Jeanne Wagner, to name a few) so she did! She let me know that after two and a half decades of praise and music, our usual Saturday vigil Mass music group will be semi-retiring (don't worry they'll be back for Advent). Pray and thank God for their sacrifice and love of praise music, and for leading us closer to glory!
Pax, Fr. Bline
N.B. This week I got a great letter that reminded me of why all the work and sacrifices that people have made for us to have the physical and educational improvements in the school is worth it...for the sake of the children. Thank you for the outstanding support and gift of your talents you unceasingly offer in His love. Enjoy the new space!