Monday, November 15, 2010
Well, I never had any visions of discussing weighty topics here, but November does make me pause to reflect on eternity and the hereafter. Not only do we begin the month with the feast of All Saints - a joyful celebration - but we (as Catholics) spend All Souls' Day and the entire month remembering the souls still awaiting their reward.
Lately, I have heard of the passing of several acquaintances, including Mr. Berquist, one of the founders of my Alma Mater. And this is also a time that I commemorate the pregnancy or infant losses of some dear mommy friends... always a hard reality to understand. Combine these with nature's movement toward cold and darkness, well - it's easy to ponder eternal realities!
Interestingly, it's also a time when the hint of celebrations soon to come bring some excitement and anticipation to the gray days. In fact, the very season we anticipate promises the antidote to death - death and sin give way to Light and Life! Recently, I read a passage in a booklet that captures the hope that Christians have:
"Death is now a supernatural event, a highway to Heaven. For Christ has given death new meaning... 'Thou hast made death glorious and triumphant, for through its portals we enter into the presence of the living God.' "
It's sometimes difficult for me not to let the material world and its present sorrows weigh on me. I internalize the troubles of others easily - and with the access to the world enabled by the internet - well, there are many, many sorrows. We need to feed our souls with hope and joy! Scripture reading is second to none for keeping us grounded in the eternal. There is a wealth of other reading available to encourage our hearts on this journey. One book I read a few years ago was a logical study of heaven - immensely captivating and one I would recommend: A Travel Guide To Heaven.
While pondering many endings at this time of year, how blessed we are to have the the comforts offered by our Faith - a new Church year beginning soon with the hopeful seasons of Advent and Christmas, the consolation of the communion of saints united in praising God in heaven and on earth, and the expectation of our bodily resurrection on the last day. Like the natural world around us, we rest in the winter of our existence, knowing that the coming of springtime is only a matter of time.
Read more about the Catholic belief in the resurrection of the body at the Knights of Columbus website here. Scroll down to Lesson 9.