Celebrating the silly and superficial supernatural at Hallowe'en with parties, costumes, and haunted houses can be fun, but actually misses the point of All Hallow's Eve. We're reaching toward the "death of nature" as leaves fall and darkness comes early, and we're given a chance to reflect on the waning of life as we know it... and on a new life to come. If we're at all aware of the real meaning of All Hallow's Eve, which is the vigil before the days of remembrance for all saints and souls, we can use it as an opportunity to begin to befriend the death that will eventually come to us, and to recall the communion of saints and souls who have gone ahead of us.
Personally, I figure that anyone I know who has died is already in the loving embrace of God. My deceased family and friends might not be saints in the official, church-sanctioned sense, but they're MY saints in the presence of God, good people I have known, touched, learned from, and loved. It might seem a bit strange, but for a number of years now, I have been keeping a list of people I know who have died, just so that they aren't forgotten. I take my list out every year at this time, and think about these people and the impact they have had on my life. Some I knew all my life, some I only knew through my friends. Remembering is my little way of celebrating these saints, ensuring that they aren't forgotten, and keeping connected so that I'll hopefully know them when I meet them on the other side.
Those of you who know me might be interested in my list of saints because you may know some of them too. I'll post it below. As for the rest of my readers, the challenge for this week is to think of the people in your life who have died, to remember their good qualities, and to celebrate your own communion of saints in a way that feels right for you. I'm thinking of and lighting a candle or two for my friends below:
Adam P. 2007 (great uncle)
Bob H. 2013 (Peter's brother)
Joan L. 2013 (Cathy's cousin)
Sherman C. 2013 (Kim's husband)
Sr Domenica S. 1998 (Cursillo friend)
Sr Helen R. 1991 (Ron's sister)