Can you believe that Ordinary Time is almost over?!? It seems like summer was just a few days ago – but recent rain & cold weather has certainly confirmed that fall is here, with winter not too far off! And there’s certainly plenty to enjoy of the season: the bright colors of leaves on trees, the taste of fall flavors (why yes, I will have a pumpkin spice latte, thank you!), and the contrast of crispy air outside with warm fires indoors.
Fall also means fall reading, and recently I had the opportunity to visit a used bookstore for just that purpose. I hadn’t dug into a good series in a while and I was well overdue for a good story. I was delighted to find all three books of a trilogy by one of my favorite authors, Mercedes Lackey. The stories – the Owl Mage trilogy – is set in her world of Valdemar, though later in the chronology. I finished it this last weekend and am greatly anticipating delving into the world she (and her co-authors) have created.
One of the things I especially appreciate about reading is how it introduces me to the interior life of others. How characters process their thoughts & feelings, interact with each other, and grow in the face of various challenges or struggles is often a source of inspiration for consider how I could do so better. Of the authors I enjoy, Lackey’s writing consistently offers this opportunity. One of my favorite series of hers is The Obsidian Mountain trilogy, which I heartily recommend!
Back out here in the exterior world, we’re coming up on a week full of wonderful celebrations. Along with my neighbors, I’ll be be ready for trick or treaters this Tuesday – it is always neat to see the various costumes of enthusiastic children (and their patient parents!). Wednesday has us celebrating All Saints day (from which Halloween – ‘All Hallows Eve’ – gets its name), but it is the celebration of All Souls on Thursday that has a particularly special place in my heart. The candlelight service at 6:30 pm is a high point at the tail end of the liturgical year, when we will gather together in the flickering light to pray for our beloved dead. Though a sober celebration, it is one full of hope, as we commemorate those whom the Lord has called to Himself.
As we come to the close of the liturgical year, may we together consider both our interior lives and join together in exterior prayer & worship! Know that you are in my thoughts and among my prayers daily.
yours in Christ,
November 1 – The Solemnity of All Saints, a holy day of obligation, marks the beginning of the end of the liturgical year. Our attention is (rightly!) drawn to our eternal reward: union with the Lord and His saints in heaven. Though we know the names of many of them, we don’t know all of them – thus we have a day dedicated to honoring everyone in heaven (all saints!). At Saint Mark parish, we’ll be celebrating Mass at 9:30 am and at 6:30 pm – come join us as we praise and ask for the intercession of all the saints!
November 2 – The Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed (All Souls) is a specially venerated day in the liturgical year. So highly does the Church value prayer for the dead that She gives all priests special permission to exceed the normal limit of two Masses per day, allowing for three Masses. All Catholics are not only invited to pray for the dead but have the opportunity to receive a plenary indulgence on behalf of themselves or the souls in purgatory. Read more about it at Relevant Radio.
November 3 – Today is the memorial of Saint Martin de Porres, the first black saint of the Americas. He is the patron saint of social justice and race relations – virtues we certainly need more of in our modern time & society! Read more about him at the Vatican News website.
November 4 – Today we celebrate Saint Charles Borromeo, archbishop of Milan and a cardinal. Highly intelligent, he became a doctor of both civil and canon law at the age of 21 and was ordained a bishop at the age of 27. But his greatest asset was his dedication to the interior life – and his desire for the reformation of the Church and her clergy. Read more at Franciscan Media.