Around the Parish – October 1, 2023
In the northern hemisphere, the arrival of fall heralds a profound transformation in the natural world. As the vibrant colors of summer give way to the warm and earthy hues of autumn, we are reminded of the cyclical nature of life and the inevitable passage of time. It is during this season that we are particularly attuned to the signs of death and decay that surround us. The once-lush foliage now falls to the ground, decaying and returning to the earth from which it came. The days grow shorter, and the chill in the air serves as a harbinger of the approaching winter.
In the Catholic Faith, this recognition of death and decay in the natural world is closely tied to the observance of All Saints Day on November 1st. All Saints Day is a time when Catholics honor and celebrate the lives of the saints, the holy men and women who have gone before us and serve as examples of faith and virtue. It is a day to remember those who have lived lives of great holiness and have now found eternal rest in the presence of God.
The connection between the changing seasons and All Saints Day lies in the symbolism of death and rebirth. Just as the fallen leaves will eventually give way to new growth in the spring, so too do the lives of the saints inspire us to strive for spiritual renewal and transformation. In the midst of the autumnal decay, we are reminded that death is not the end, but rather a transition to a new and eternal life. This season of reflection and remembrance encourages us to emulate the saints’ virtues, seeking to lead lives of faith, compassion, and service to others. In doing so, we hope to one day join the ranks of the saints in the heavenly kingdom, where the eternal spring of God’s love and grace knows no end.
In the Catholic Church, we hold the lives of the saints in high regard, so much so that we sometimes keep relics of saints. Relics hold a significant place in the Catholic Church as tangible connections to the lives of saints and the divine. These physical remains or objects associated with saints, such as bone fragments, clothing, or personal belongings, serve as powerful reminders of the faith’s rich history and the lives of those who have exemplified devotion.
In the next few weeks in our bulletin, we will be talking more about Saints and Relics as we prepare for the celebration of All Saints and All Souls. We will talk about the specific relics present here in our church for veneration, and the lives of those particular saints.
Here are a couple of thoughts for the week ahead: Never forget that walking away from something unhealthy is a very brave thing to do – even if you stumble a little on your way out the door. Stop beating yourself up. You are a work in progress, which means you get there a little at a time, not all at once.
Pax et Bonum, Fr. Andy