Mourning November…

During November we are called to remember our Faithful Departed.

London’s Tower kicked things off magnificently earlier this year by commemorating the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I with a display of poppies.

Poppies2

The Tower of London

We are encouraged to visit cemeteries and columbaria.

To give thanks to God for the lives of the family and friends who surround us.

To meditate about death and the purpose of our lives.

To murmur prayers over the deceased to ease our grief and to respect the memories of our loved ones.

RIP

All Soul’s

This is no hardship for me!  Ask any of my family where my favorite place to go and they’ll all say,

A graveyard!”

Keeping our dead alive in our minds and hearts is important stuff.

Family stories, memories, laughter and tears are all part of building strong, familial communities.

We celebrate the past because, in the words of our priest,

“…it serves as an affirmation of the present and the cause to dedicate ourselves to lives of purpose and meaning.”  (Fr. Timothy Heines)

Fr. Heines promotes the importance of family whenever he can and during tis month we are helped to remember our dead by praying the Stations of the Cross every Friday.

The first week I focused on seven members of my family, two stations for each.

During my meditation I ruminated on my relatives’  lives and how each one touched me, influenced me and whose ways are still manifesting in me and my children.  I  offer them a special moment or two of mindful thought out of my busy life.

The experience was powerful and interesting.  As I listened to the prayers while we walked with Christ along the Via Dolorosa I found a connection to the relationship I had had with the person I was holding in my mind.

Stations

Notre Dame-des-Champs

The second week I meditated on those who were forgotten, who did not show up in family histories any more for one reason or another.  This was more challenging and really had me considering my own life and how I could continue to make a difference even after my death and not be overlooked.

I reflected on:

Family members I didn’t consciously think about.  My great grandparents and relatives from way back.  I had to put a halt on how far back to go and kept it to the 20th century.

Everyone who defended our freedoms in war, especially the two World Wars that involved close relatives including my parents and Aunts and Uncles.

All I had come in contact with during my lifetime, casually or closely, school friends, teachers, college mates, colleagues, the homeless and anyone whose path I crossed during my daily life without giving them a second thought.

Those who lost their lives as a result of an accident or by their own hand.

Those who had been the victims of terrorist attacks.

In my contemplation I found myself

Thankful that my life has been made more fragrant by their presence,

Thankful that I may still find a way to Outlive My Life by walking my Christian faith and loving extravagantly,

and,

Thankful for my gift of salvation given freely at a high cost.

Have a truly blessed Thanksgiving with your families and friends and let the storytelling begin!

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1 Comments

LM

2014-11-26 18:41:42 Reply

Very nicely put. I enjoyed it also.

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