November is a month dripping with spirituality. How can it not? It begins with All Saints Day and All Souls Day and, at our parish, is followed by our beautiful Memorial Mass where families gather to remember all our loved ones whose funerals we celebrated this past year.
November holds the most thought-provoking holiday of the year- Thanksgiving. Though, not a religious holiday, it celebrates gratefulness, the hallmark of the spiritual life.
For me, it is especially introspective as it is the month of my parents and younger sister’s birthdays, all of whom are no longer with me in this world. And to cap off my personal gratitude, it is the month of my husband’s birthday. He is my rock and the most tangible sign of God’s love in my life.
All this led me to reflect on the Communion of Saints who we mention each time we pray the Creed… I believe in the communion of saints… the teaching that we are united to both the living and the dead because in Christ we are one Body. We live in a communion that encompasses the blessed in heaven and pilgrims on earth. (CCC962)
The communion of saints went from theory to prayer when I thought of my loved ones who surround me like my husband and my grandchildren but also my deceased parents and grandparents. Then I thought of my colleagues, and the intangible bond that ministry forges in the nights and weekends serving God’s Church. And then I thought of the canonized saints who inspire me to faith beyond what I will ever achieve, who I personally draw strength from, St. Theresa of Avila, St. Catherine of Sienna, and Mary. That led me to gratitude for all of you, friends in this parish, with whom I worship, and pray and who are faith community to me. You contribute to the meaning and purpose of my every day.
For you, I hope this November is an opportunity for reflection and gratitude. In doing so, I believe you will find your communion of saints and the spirituality of Thanksgiving.