It’s November – the month of nature’s dying in the Northern hemisphere. We traditionally remember our beloved who have died…not the ‘dead’ - like they’re ‘gonners’; but ‘those who have experienced the moment of dying’ and stepped over and beyond death’s gate & are alive on the other side.
As you can see by the cover this weekend, we call to mind those who have been accorded the dignity and Hope of Christian Burial through our parish in the past year.
I hope you will notice in the bulletin also, that we’re trying to augment of reporting of the dying times of parish members (and your relatives, if you let us know that information).
With almost 5,000 parishioners, it’s so easy to become anonymous and unknown to each other. We want to counter that, and ‘create community’ by sharing this news and holding each other in prayer and Hope in this momentous time.
Of course, most of us also want remember family members, friends, neighbors and colleagues who have died…in the last 12 months, or however long ago it may be.
We still miss them, don’t we? And we look forward to the great reunion guaranteed by the Life, Death, Resurrection and Ascension of Jesus! What a day that will be…forever!
But also - grief is, of course, a necessary part of loving and being loved by another.
This poem – which Bishop Morneau & Sheila DeLuca shared at a funeral at which I assisted some months ago – by Yehuda HaLevi, a Spanish poet – a contemporary of St. Norbert in the 11th century, a Jewish man (poignant in light of the Pittsburgh synagogue violence last week) perhaps will comfort you, as it does me:
‘Tis a fearful thing
to love what death can touch.
A fearful thing
to love, to hope, to dream, to be –
and oh to lose.
A thing for fools, this,
and a holy thing
For your life has lived in me,
your laugh once lifted me,
your word was gift to me.
To remember this brings painful joy.
‘Tis a human thing, love,
a holy thing, to love
what death has touched.
In life & death - “God bless us...EVERY one”!