I am not sure if many people are aware of this, but there is a long tradition in the Church of setting off an intention or devotion for each month of the year. Perhaps we are familiar with June being dedicated to the Sacred Heart or October the month of the Rosary. Did you know that July is the month dedicated to the Precious Blood of Christ, that January is dedicated to the Holy Name of Jesus, or that March is dedicated to Saint Joseph?
Each month has its special devotion and November is the month to remember the dead, especially the souls in Purgatory. Why November? I think it is because the changing of the seasons brings with it the seemingly dying of the natural world around us. The colors of nature take on a brilliant but then more somber hue and we are reminded of the brevity of life and that all things die. It is a time for reflection on our mortality.
For us Christians, of course, this is not a cause for morbidity but, rather, a time to remember what our faith teaches us: that it is only in death that we come to the fullness of life. As the funeral liturgy reminds us, “For your faithful, O Lord, life is changed, not ended.” Let us take a look at our journey through life, reflect on all we have done and all we have failed to do, and resolve to live more Christ-like lives.
May we and all our loved ones who have gone before us marked with the sign of faith be the beneficiaries of the Lord’s great love and mercy and may we all—one day—be together in heaven!
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