Tuesday, October 25, 2011

All Saints

Dome of the Great Cloud of Witnesses

Saints of God
in Glory,
be with us,
rejoice with us,
sing praise with us,
   and be with us now. 
Bernadette Farrell Litany of Saints

Reading:  Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses let us lay aside every encumbrance of sin which clings to us.  Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, who inspires and perfects our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding the shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.   Therefore, strive to live in peace with all and for that holiness without which no one can see the Lord.       See Heb. 12

In a week’s time we will be celebrating All Saints Day. The day before, of course, is All Hallows Eve, a.k.a. Halloween.  That brought to mind the words holy and hallow. Did you know the word holy is Anglo Saxon for hallow meaning whole? I’m sure you noticed how the word whole sounds exactly like the word hole.  Hole also is Anglo Saxon and it means hollow. It is like two sides of a coin:  hallow/whole, hollow/hole.  That is what I am like, what you are like…striving to be holy but full of holes!  But that does not stop us from being faithful witnesses of our Risen Savior for by the holes in the hands and feet and side of the One who endured the cross we are healed.   Healed, by the way, is again Anglo Saxon meaning to be made whole.  So we become healed - whole – holy.

Again, thinking about All Hallows Eve, the symbol that is most often displayed at this time is the pumpkin.  While Jack-O-lanterns were made to scare off the holey spirits that were thought to roam the earth on All Hallows Eve, they are also a symbol of bounty.   Have you ever cut out a pumpkin and scooped out the seeds?  It’s amazing how many are in there!  We have 9 pumpkins here at the monastery.  I’ll estimate that each pumpkin has about 75 seeds depending on the size.  That would make about 675 seeds altogether.  If you planted each seed and each vine that grew yielded three pumpkins that would come out to 2025 pumpkins!  Wow! That would make some huge pumpkin patch. 

We may be like Jack-O-Lanterns - full of holes, hallowed out, and our seeds scattered everywhere, but think of all those seeds as seeds of peace, love, justice, kindness, mercy and holiness.  If we could plant those seeds, what a bountiful harvest would be reaped for the Lord!  Now, that would be some kind of special pumpkin patch! 

All Hallows Eve is our foundress, Ven. Maria Celeste’s birthday.  She is part of the great cloud of witnesses the reading spoke of in Hebrews.  We believe she is one of the saints in glory.  Along with St. Gerard and St. Alphonsus, Celeste planted seeds throughout her life praying for the salvation, the wholeness, the holiness of all souls.  Let us do the same.   Let us strive to join them in that great cloud by planting our own seeds of holiness.  Let us water our seeds of holiness by renewing our vows

No comments:

Post a Comment