Tuesday, November 02, 2010

The Faithful Shall Abide With God in Love

November 2, 2010
The Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed (All Souls)

By Beth DeCristofaro

The souls of the just are in the hand of God, … Those who trust in him shall understand truth, and the faithful shall abide with him in love: because grace and mercy are with his holy ones, and his care is with his elect. (Wisdom 3: 1,9)

Brothers and sisters: Are you unaware that we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? … We know that our old self was crucified with him, so that our sinful body might be done away with, that we might no longer be in slavery to sin. For a dead person has been absolved from sin. If, then, we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him. (Romans 6:3, 6-8)

For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him may have eternal life, and I shall raise him on the last day. (John 36:40)

St. Paul, Presente!
Alex Costea, Presente!
Salvatore DeCristofaro, Presente!
Elizabeth Costea, Presente!
George Hayes, Presente!
Alexander Costea, Presente!
Fr. Martin Hayes, Presente!
Helen Hayes, Presente!
Anthony Rizzo, Presente!
Mike Costea, Presente!
Sophia Powers, Presente!
Carolyn Fullen, Presente!
Ken Reardon, Presente!
St. Elizabeth, Presente!
St. Anne, Presente!
Our Lady of Guadelupe, Presente!
Jesus Christ, Presente!

In starting to read today’s readings I found myself tearing up as I remembered that this day is All Souls. And, as always, I found myself thinking of and missing my father and other loved ones who have died. There have been many friends and mentors who gave me so much and helped form me into who I am. Today is a day for remembering their lives and remembering them in prayer. Today is a day in which we can be aware in a special way of the cloud of witnesses surrounding us.

And I find myself giving thanks also for the grace which allows me to know that I will be reunited with them someday. You know, I sometimes talk with my dad or with Sophia. It isn’t that I don’t pray but there are times when I feel that I need my science teacher dad’s expertise or Sophia’s hard-bitten, cynical wisdom. When I see the deer in my backyard I sometimes want to tease my brother that they are safe here - even though I don’t think he ever actually brought one down with his bow!

A custom in many Latin American churches is to pray a litany of the saints with the word “presente” as a response. This translates as meaning that the person, whether a canonized saint or a man/woman of God, is truly with us. To me, this is an audible snapshot of a tiny portion of the Communion of Saints – those saints and Saints who have been so important in my life and in whose presence I sense the Kingdom of God right at hand.

Write your own litany. Who has been important in your life or with whom do you feel there is unfinished business? Pray your litany including your patron saints and the patrons of Cursillo, St. Paul and Our Lady of Guadalupe. In sorrow and joy, pray your gratitude to a generous God in whom all are reconciled and born anew.