All Souls' Day

All Souls' Day, Is it not dwarfed a little by All Saints' Day? And yet both proclaim eternal salvation "which God has prepared for those who love Him". On All Souls' Day we celebrate in grateful memory the lives of all people who have gone before us and are still on our hearts. All the joy, all the hope they brought, all the sorrow they shared with us, all the love they gave us, all this is what a person takes into eternity at the end of their life. At the end of our life on earth, we all set out on the path that leads us out of this world, into the glory of God and His infinite love.

November, you are the transition between autumn and winter. Some would like to dispense with you, skip you. For many you are the month of mourning, of the dead. Personal questions arise, we ponder about life, death and eternity.

The song, "The moon has risen..." fits so beautifully into this time of year, also into our church season. Matthias Claudius wrote it as a religious evening song in 1779. It is number 93 in the new Gotteslob. (Re-)discover it, look at the text, what does it tell you? Much resonates with me when I sing the song, listen to it.

November, you are indeed a difficult month: you mean abandoned paths, you are wet, grey, cold, foggy. The leaves whirl around, then violent storms and chasing clouds come again - maybe also within me? Yet at the same time the unfamiliar silence all around, can I stand it? Well, November asks for times of rest and silence. Which we all need. Maybe just enjoy the silence in nature. For example, when walking in the fog and sensing the smell of the air, stepping against the wind and feeling its freshness on your face and your own strength. Laugh, walk, run through the fallen leaves – that winds you down and is fun. Listen to your inner child, what it still wants to tell you and give it what it needs now, it loves life.

It is worth the effort to make a journey of discovery through November, to feel attentively into it.  I believe that we will perceive it more gently then and can go through November with a zest for life. Thoughts become free and open for the small and big pleasures it brings.   Perhaps in such moments you also feel that God is with you. Quite unexpectedly. Although you did not pray for it. Become still - come to rest. Take the time consciously.  

Felix Timmermanns says: "When I let it be still in myself, that's when I’m most moved.” Silence - what is silence?  Hearing the sound of silence?  Feeling the sound of the soul?!

Let us look and marvel at the surprising answers children give us. The religious studies teacher Rainer Oberthür collected many statements from 8/9 year olds during his lessons. Here are some touching thoughts from them:  

  • "Silence is the roar of lions when they sleep"
  • "Silence is the wind that blows past the trees but is still very still"
  • "Silence is the rustling of leaves as they fall from the tree"- 
  • "Silence is the cracking of the branches that are not there"
  • "Silence is like a room full of secrets"

What is silence for me?  Find your silence sentence: "silence is ......" complete it.

November - well, summer is irrevocably over.  The end of November also marks the end of church year A.  In the TE DEUM 2016 we read: "Thus a circle closes and we may liturgically set out for a new round on the way of Jesus, who is our way for life". Let us set out into the new church year B and try to walk with God on His very personal path. I look forward to the experiences I’m going to have.

Sr. Stefana Desch

"If it does you good, then come!"


(St. Francis of Assisi)