Sunday, October 30, 2011

A Hallowtide Reflection

To mark All Hallows Eve (October 31), All Saints Day (November 1) and All Souls Day (November 2) I share the following reflection by Ed Hays, shared this morning as part of the liturgy at Spirit of St. Stephen’s Catholic Community.

Death is the greatest terrorist. So feared an enemy is death that we avoid thinking about it, unless forced to do so as when attending a funeral. We even find the word “death” unspeakable, and so replace “died” with “passed.” In prayer, we refer to the dead as the “deceased” or “departed.”

When someone dies in parts of Africa they don’t say they “have passed” or “departed,” but rather that they “have arrived!” This beautiful expression is saturated with the belief that their beloved dead have finally arrived at the destination toward which they have been traveling all their lives.

Upon hearing of someone’s death, our Muslim brothers and sisters say, “We have come from God, and we return to God, and we are on this journey each day of our lives.” Regardless of our age or health, you and I are at this very moment on a journey back to God, and none of us knows if today is the day of our arrival.

As you pass one milestone after another, live your homeward journey wisely and passionately praying words like these every day: Inspired, I squeeze the last drop of joy out of each day, not because I’ll die, but because You have made life’s joys appetizers of the delight of arriving.

– Ed Hays
Excerpted from Book of Wonders: Daily Reflections for Awakened Living
Ave Maria Press, 2009

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
All You Holy Men and Women
Halloween Thoughts
Halloween Hijinks
Quote of the Day – November 1, 2010
The Signalman: A Ghost Story by Charles Dickens

Image: Michael J. Bayly.

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