Remembering in NovemberFATHER GEORGE WILLIAM RUTLER
The autumnal days of November, with the falling leaves and early darkness, are reminders of the edge where time meets eternity.
In the universality of the Catholic Church, the living and the dead are united in worshiping the Creator of all things. Blessed Teresa of Calcutta often asked me to remember her each time I add the drop of water to the wine of the chalice at the preparation of the Eucharistic gifts. I still do that, and include all the faithful departed whose presence is mystically imparted to us who are still on earth. St. Thomas Aquinas said that when the priest commingles one small particle of the Body of Christ with the Precious Blood, we have a sign of the absorption of the saints into the Beatific Vision of Heaven.
Last Sunday in Baghdad, Islamic terrorists killed 58 people along with their two young priests, and wounded 75 others, mostly women and children, as they were preparing to commune with Christ. Horrible as that was, it was also a grace to die so close to Our Lord who was with all Christians gathered around their altar on that same Sunday in every church.
As a student in Rome, I lived near the Pantheon, built first in 27 B.C. to all the Roman gods, and rebuilt in A.D. 126 by the Emperor Hadrian. In 609, Pope Boniface IV consecrated it as a church and celebrated a feast of All Martyrs on the same day as the old pagan feast of Lemuralia, when the ancient Romans used to offer sacrifices to protect themselves from ghosts. The Resurrection defied such superstitions and gave cause to rejoice in the gift of eternal life. The pagan haunted world is now hallowed by the Saviour. In Christian worship, death and life commune in a harmony by which autumn is nature's novitiate for spring. As high energy physics shows the importance of every subatomic particle in the material order, so in the moral order is every soul of importance to God. All souls are meant to be in communion with him and with each other in the fellowship of the Church. "But you spare all things, because they are yours, O Lord and lover of souls, for your imperishable spirit is in all things!" (Wisdom 11:26, 12:1)
Father George William Rutler. "Remembering in November." From the Pastor (November 6, 2010).
Reprinted with permission of Father George W. Rutler.
Since 1988 his weekly television program has been broadcast worldwide on EWTN. Father Rutler has published 17 books, including: Cloud of Witnesses - Dead People I Knew When They Were Alive, Coincidentally: Unserious Reflections on Trivial Connections, A Crisis of Saints: Essays on People and Principles, Brightest and Best, Saint John Vianney: The Cure D'Ars Today, Crisis in Culture, and Adam Danced: The Cross and the Seven Deadly Sins.
Copyright © 2010 Father George W. Rutler
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