The healing power of rememberence
(from Zisterzienserkloster Langwaden)
The month of November offers a number of opportunities to try and remember. Right at the beginning of the month we remember those people who lived before us, in other times and often also in other countries, and, who were seeking God under various conditions, often dedicating their lives. We call them saints. We believe that they are „close to God“, as someone who attends our mass always puts it.
But we also remember those relatives who died, who, maybe, did not live a holy life; nevertheless, we miss them very much. We believe they are in God`s hand and that they do not fall down from heaven, that there is no „Skyefall“, to quote the most recent title of a James Bond film. All Souls` Day in particular is characterized by the commomoration of the dead.
For us Germans the month of November is a memorial of the most horrible cruelty man can do do other man: destroying other peoples` identities and their religious places; we think of the 9th of November, the progromes, the Kristallnacht. This rememberence is also always in the background when we think of the opening of the Berlin Wall in 1989, and, it warns us to be humble, modest and cautious.
Thus these days of rememberence can become places of remberence. Just as we need places to mourn, to say Goodbuye! to our relatives who have died, to „visit“ them, we also need days of silent rememberence, rich through rituals like visiting the cemetery, lighting a candle, putting down a bouquet of flowers, attending a church service or the blessing of the graves. This way the people who have gone before us are not „out of sight, out of mind“, but they are always present in our hearts.
The spiritual impulse for November was written by Brother Aelred Kuhbandner OCist