Week of November 2nd – All Souls

“Hope does not disappoint” (Romans 5:5).

Losing someone we love is most likely the most difficult aspect of living.  We have or will all experience loss.  Many times we might ask “Why?” when someone we love dies “before their time.”  At times we are at peace knowing the one we love has lived a good life.  Regardless, we grieve because we have loved them, the memories are deep, and will miss their presence.  The gift of faith is ever persistent in reminding us that our loved ones are with Jesus – and thus just as close to us as Jesus. “The souls of the just are in the hand of God . . . they are in peace . . . they shall shine, and shall dart about as sparks through stubble” (Wisdom 3:1-9).

The Commemoration of all the Faithful Departed may also raise up the questions, “How am I living?”  “What will my life mean?”  How do I want to live this life on earth so it can be a little more like heaven?”

There are popular songs about living like we are dying.  Saints of old have used such a concept to guide their prayer and actions.  If you knew you were dying how would you live today?

That is a good question . . .

The Sisters of the Holy Redeemer look back over this week and reflect on their living.

This in fact was a week of remembering those who have died and being with those who mourn.  On All Soul’s Day, all the Sisters of the Holy Redeemer who have gone before were honored during the Sunday Liturgy.  Their names were read one by one while Sisters and some of the family members listened in silence.  Sisters also attended memorial services for employees throughout the Sisters’ ministries who have died recently and throughout the year.  They comforted family members and friends who still acutely feel the loss.  In all cases stories and memories were shared; comfort found in being together to laugh and to cry and to ask “Why?”

Remembering all the Sisters in the American Province.
Remembering all the Sisters in the American Province who have gone before us.

In addition there were many celebrations:

Men and women in Florida became Redeemer Associates for the first time or renewed their yearly commitment to join in the spirituality of the Congregation with lives of prayer and service as they go about their daily lives.  Two Sisters were able to be there to welcome them and to celebrate their faith.

Employees with new offices at the Sisters’ main building were welcomed with a special luncheon.  The gift of time was shared to get to know the other.  Too often we can live unaware of our neighbor.

An Art event was held Saturday evening as a fundraiser for women and children living in a transitional housing facility sponsored by the Sisters.  This event celebrated the art of living with a giving heart.

Midweek the Sisters gathered for their monthly sharing.  It was a time to remember in our living together how we can always grow deeper in christian love and compassion.  At the end of our lives what will matter most – our love or our accomplishments?

Finally, and very importantly – this week was also National Vocation Awareness Week.  This week highlights the gift of Religious Life and to pray for all men and women who are seeking God’s guidance for their lives.  The Sisters thank God for the gift of their vocation!  Jessica Powers, a renowned poet asks “What will you do with you one wild and precious life?”

A new week  is here – perhaps you will want to reflect on the following questions:

Who have you lost that you have loved?  How does the legacy of their life inspire you to live?

How do you want to live today?