Thursday, November 4, 2010

Saints Above and Below

November has two major religious “feast days.” For those of us who celebrate them annually, All Saints (Nov. l) and All Souls (Nov. 2) are much beloved. Processions and Masses honor those saints already “on high” and those in the process—the deceased who are not canonized but whom we are sure are “heaven bound.”
I always look forward to the Litany of the Saints—which here at Saint Benedict’s Monastery we sing as the community processes to the cemetery on All Hallows Eve, and again as we process into chapel for Mass on All Saints Day. Familiar and not-so-familiar saints’ names roll off the tongue as we recall what diverse people have achieved sainthood.
The All Souls feast reminds us of our continued ties with those who have gone before us into a new life. (And, this week, we have two Sisters’ funerals to deepen that reminder.)
What a grand way to start November and to herald the coming to a close of another year.

Often we are reminded that we are “saints in the making.” We are also “poor souls” in need of one another’s prayers and help as we daily strive to live according to the Gospel. Saint Benedict tells us in the Rule that we can “run the way of perfection”—though some days it seems we more often plod along. If not yet there, we are potential saints and can aim to give one another due love, respect and care, mindful that we never travel alone.

photos by Karen Streveler, OSB

1 comment:

  1. How true! We are poor souls in need of one another's prayers and one another up so that we are able to strive to live according to the Gospel. It is the end of the first quarter at my school and today I feel like I need to be dragged because I am too exhausted to even plod along. I need an energy boost from the community!