Today the Church observes All Souls Day, and I again pondered the circle of life this morning as I admired the vibrant colors of the trees in our backyard.
Yesterday I shared my thoughts about the beauty of autumn and the circle of life on All Saints Day. (Read my reflections here.) We are reminded that trees display their most beautiful colors as their leaves are dying. And the cycle of nature brings us growth and green buds of life again each springtime.
Again we too see the circle of life from conception to birth, then later from a lifetime here on earth to our death like the leaves in autumn, then our rising to everlasting life with God in heaven. The circle continues.
We join with the Church today and remember those who died and have gone before us. May our memories bring comfort to our hearts as we consider the joy and the happy times they brought to our lives, no matter how short or long the days or years we spent with them.
May we feel God’s peace and love in our hearts on this All Souls Day day and always.
Pray with the changing seasons as you remember your loved ones today:
Prayer for Autumn Days
Sr. Joyce Rupp, OSM
God of the seasons,
there is a time for everything;
there is a time for dying and a time for rising.
We need courage to enter into
the transformation process.
God of autumn,
the trees are saying goodbye to their green,
letting go of what has been.
We, too, have our moments of surrender,
with all their insecurity and risk.
Help us to let go when we need to do so.
God of fallen leaves
lying in colored patterns on the ground,
our lives have their own patterns.
As we see the patterns of our own growth,
may we learn from them.
God of misty days and harvest moon nights,
there is always the dimension of mystery
and wonder in our lives.
We always need to recognize your power-filled presence.
May we gain strength from this.
God of harvest wagons and fields of ripened grain,
many gifts of growth lie within the season of our surrender.
We must wait for harvest in faith and hope.
Grant us patience when we do not see the blessings.
God of geese going south
for another season, your wisdom enables us
to know what needs to be left behind
and what needs to be carried into the future.
We yearn for insight and vision.
God of flowers
touched with frost and windows wearing white designs,
may your love keep our hearts
from growing cold in the empty seasons.
God of life,
you believe in us, you enrich us,
you entrust us with the freedom to choose life.
For all this, we are grateful.
The Church is full of people
in the Autumn of their years.
Some have led colourful lives
leaves bronzed and golden
through exposure to the elements
their appearance the centre of attention.
Others have been exposed
to more extreme conditions
branches bowed and scarred.
Some go unnoticed,
yet stand tall and steadfast
against wind and rain.
All have a story to tell
all can offer support and shelter
for saplings which grow beneath
their leafy canopy.
Blogger and author Marina McCoy of Boston College reflects with Ignatian Spirituality. Read her reflections here.