November is the month when we remember the dead. This may sound sad, a trip into a past which no longer exists. In our culture, the word “dead” often has negative connotations. Yet the Church begins this month with two of the most joyful of all feasts: All Saints and All Souls. Their message is that death isn’t a passage into annihilation but into a glorious and transformed life. The communion of saints is a way of expressing the continuity between earthly life and resurrected life. It tells us that the bonds of love we form in this world are stretched, but not broken, when someone dies. And isn’t it true that when we think of a loved one who has passed, we are renewed, even if tearfully, by gratitude for all the good they brought into our lives? We are called to approach this month of remembrance with joyful, grateful hearts.
by Karen Rose, OSB