November 3, 2019 – A View from the Rectory Window

The end of October comes with a soulful reminder that the growing season is over. The songbirds are pretty much gone and, apart from the oaks and the evergreens, so are most of the leaves. Our ancestors saw this change in the seasons as a chance to look back and consider the Big Picture. Deny it as we might, it’s a healthy thing to consider our limits. This coming week’s secular and sacred trio of feasts (Halloween, All Saints, and All Souls) are but the entrance to Christianity’s month-long corrective to our usual thoughtlessness about such matters. Nature is dying back, and, someday, so will I.

From visiting the young women and men who belong to our CCD program, I have discovered a happy trend that their costume selections invite them to imagine themselves to be “bigger than life”–Captain America and Wonder Women, firefighters and athletes … for these are a link to the Feast of All Saints (from which the word “Halloween” the Eve of the Feast of All Holy Ones derives).

The saints are those who took Christ at his word. More can be made of us than what we have settled for, and we can see that in the lives of God’s great heroes. How will we think greatness is possible unless we see it lived by people like us? C. S. Lewis offers this astute observation about what it means to be a saint: “It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this world. Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in; aim at earth and you will get neither.”

The Feast of All Souls reminds us that, at the time of their death, not all have embraced the greatness of saints in their life. The Catechism of the Catholic Church, in consideration says that the Church, “from the very earliest days of the Christian religion, has honored with great respect the memory of the dead; and ‘because it is a holy and a wholesome thought to pray for the dead that they may be loosed from their sins’ she offers her sacrifices and prayers for them.” We are not called to simply trust that the dead are in heaven; we are called to give them our prayers so that they may arrive there quickly.

Some who I know to be saints are the women and men who have to work with me daily (I know, terrible segue):

I invite you to join me and some of them on December 6 for a Christmas excursion to NYC to see the other Rockettes. Please see the bulletin for details or contact the parish office,

Fr. Pete