A Note from Fr. Derek

On November 2nd, we celebrated the Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed in which the Church prays for all of those who have departed from this world, but may be in need of some purification before entering into the presence of God.  During the whole month of November, in fact, the Church holds the faithful departed in her prayers in a special way.  As we consider those who have died, we exercise the virtue of hope –hope that there is a life yet to come that will never end.

 

In the northern hemisphere, the cycle of nature serves to heighten our awareness of our own mortality.  At this time of year, the amount of daylight is decreasing.  The trees are giving up their leaves.  The bounty being yielded by the earth is decreasing.  On the surface, the outlook is sort of bleak, (at least for those of us who prefer the warmer weather!).  In spite of all of this, however, there is a particular beauty of the coming months, for they are a season of hope.  We are mindful that beyond the winter a new spring will break forth.  That which seemed dead will return to life.  The earth will produce new fruit, and darkness will give way to light.  It is a season of hope, and not of despair, because it is a season of anticipation.  Saint Paul, in writing to the community of Christians at Rome noted:  “…but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees?  But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience” (Rom 8:24).

 

It is with this same spirit that we approach this month that invites us to consider our own mortality:  the spirit of hope.  As we call to mind those loved ones who have preceded us into eternal life, our hearts are buoyed by the hope that they enjoy a new and everlasting life – one that we, in this life, cannot see but must wait for patiently.  May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

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