November 2, 2014: The Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed (All Souls)
Jesus said to the crowds:
“Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and I will not reject anyone who comes to me,
because I came down from heaven not to do my own will but the will of the one who sent me.
And this is the will of the one who sent me, that I should not lose anything of what he gave me,
but that I should raise it on the last day.
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 6:37-40)
The classic book, Hope for the Flowers, is a story about two caterpillars, Stripe and Yellow, who discover in order to experience a new way of living (to emerge into beautiful butterflies) they must first seemingly die to their caterpillar stage and go through the cocoon period. This Sunday we remember and celebrate those who have died…who are now also experiencing a new way of living in God.
Think about someone you admire who has died. This can be a person you know or someone you have read about. Take time to remember the admirable qualities of your special person and thank God for the gift of this beautiful person.
Fr. Boel, who died this year, was not only my first spiritual director, but the person who instructed me in the Catholic faith so that, at age 30, I could receive baptism, confirmation, and my first communion. The campus minister of Loyola University, he also was the celebrant at this most cherished event. I remember his kindness, his playful interaction with my young daughter, his support, his gentleness, and his wisdom. He was a very special soul, a Jesuit who traveled to many different countries to spread the word of God and serve God’s people. I’m sure that he rests in God’s arms and that one day I will have the privilege of again being in his company.
I’m thinking of my mom and her mom. Both women had strong, simple faith in God’s Providence. I recall what my mom said she heard her own mom say after she was widowed with eight small children to care for and the bills were piling up. “God will help us.”