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All Souls and Saints

 By Sister Christine Parks

Sitting here with morning coffee and watching leaves fall in the gusting wind, I’m thinking about November—a kind of in-between month, when Autumn is winding down, the harvest mostly done; but it’s not quite winter yet—in spite of frost, or the occasional snowflake. It’s a month when the days continue to shorten, the leaves to fall, and the last of our autumn mums begin to fade.

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On the first two days of November, at our morning prayer, we prayed with the feasts of All Saints and All Souls, celebrating the “communion of saints”—the formally canonized ones, and all those other holy souls, who’ve led their more or less ordinary lives, and are now one-with God. In our prayer we remembered all the lives that have gone before us.; remembered those who have walked the path of life ahead of us, and left their footprints—some larger, some smaller than those we may leave ourselves.

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In my own reflection I brought to mind all my deceased loved ones—parents and other family members; our sisters and associates (especially those who touched my life); and friends who mostly died too soon, and whose loss I still grieve. All of these souls crowded round our prayer table, part of the energy field of this corner of the universe wherein we still live and breathe and have our being.

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Sitting here now, I’m also pondering what size, what kind of footsteps I’m leaving? Who will be sitting in prayer on some future day in early November—remembering my life and how it touched their own? Although the feast of “Thanksgiving” is still weeks away, at the other end of this month, I’m beginning my list of gratitude for that day’s prayer. So, be prepared, included will be all those saints and souls who have gone ahead—along with some of you, the still living saints and souls, who will find yourselves in my thanksgiving prayer.

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About the Author

Christine ParksSister Christine Parks formerly served as a member of the Congregation of St. Joseph Leadership Team. Her leisure activities include gardening, long walks in nature, reading, writing, attending plays and concerts, as well as museums.

18 thoughts on “All Souls and Saints

  1. Mary Jo Curtsinger says:

    Thanks Christine. Your words left me thinking about my dad’s “big feet, ” and the ways I want my own footprint to expand!

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  2. Marlene Schemmel says:

    Beautiful reflection. Made me get my coffee and re-read your reflection, Christine.
    Those that went before us this year were an inspiration to me. Marlene csj

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  3. betsy meagher,csj says:

    so true to how i feel and am aware of this time of year, myself. Thanks for your expressions of remembering and painting a picture that one can feel.

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  4. Christine (Bir) McDonough says:

    As an activity director at Suite Living in Marion I have the pleasure of getting to go to work and PLAY. So many people stand on the shoulders of our residents, so to speak. They have all left meaningful footprints in my life. And I’ve only been been in their lives for seven years. They bless my life daily. I spent my sophomore year at St. Joe’s and am all the more rich because of that. Then my name was Christine Bir

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  5. Joan Henehan says:

    Thanks so much, Christine! I’m grateful for having had the opportunity to meet you some years back. You’re a gift to the CSJs!

    Love,
    Joan Henehan

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  6. Joyce Dropps,csj says:

    Christine, Thanks for painting a picture of this time of year and all the special thoughts to ponder. Blessings and Peace,
    One of your many sisters, joyce

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  7. Marge Freundl says:

    Thank you for your thoughts about November. There is another November date that passed November 11, Veteran’s Day, which also causes me to remember the footprints… those who died serving our country.

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