This past week we celebrated All Saints Day, (November 1st) and on Tuesday we celebrated in commemoration the souls of the Faithful Departed.  We called this day “All Souls Day” and a very long time ago often referred to it as The Poor Souls day.  Fortunately, that has been corrected in our thinking because for the souls in purgatory there is hope for one day, they shall reach their goal of joining all the saints in the glory of heaven.

I suppose we don’t think so much about the souls in purgatory anymore, maybe simply because of the change of pace of living now days but I think it is a very beautiful thing to do, to give some quiet time and take a little journey down memory lane and think about all those people who were a part of your life at some time or other and who are now gone.  Why not take a pen and paper and begin to write down the names of some of those people, the relatives who have been gone for a long time.  I did this recently and found it very rewarding.  I remember my great aunt and uncle Bert and Gladys Harvey, and great uncle and aunt Frank and Maggie Ainsworth.  Bert was a fireman with the corning Fire Department and Uncle Frank was an engraver for Corning Glass.  He did some beautiful work.  I still have three sherry glasses he engraved, part of a set that he and Aunt Maggie gave to my parents when they got married in 1928.

And what about people from your neighborhood back when you were growing up, kids in the neighborhood you played with, went to school with, friends from along ago.  Some of them are gone now or moved far away long ago.  We all remember the members of our own immediate family, though many have passed away but maybe we have forgotten even some of the times we had growing up with them, our family life and what our family did together.

All these experiences, these memories are a part of the people we have shared a part of our lives with.  It is a beautiful and rewarding thing to recall t hem now and remember them prayerfully.  Many of them are already sharing the eternal bliss of heavenly life, but maybe some still await the Lord’s call as He speaks their name and ushers them through what we call the pearly gates.

Remembering those who have gone before us also helps us to put into focus that fact that we are still on our journey to the Kingdom.  We need to pray for ourselves and for one another as all of us still on this earth journey each day, experiencing the joys and sorrows, the trials and challenges that are a part of our daily lives.  We must remember too, that the Lord has a mission for each of us to accomplish, not only for ourselves but for the good of others as well.

November has long been called a time for remembering those who went before us, who shared life with us, maybe for only a short time or maybe longer.  But we all shared the journey that we call life on earth.  What we must remember, most of all, life here is a journey.  As many has said and wisely so, we do not have a lasting dwelling here.  Home will be with the Lord and all the rest of the saints.  Thanks be to God!

Fr. Walt