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butterflyYesterday the Hallmark Channel began airing their Christmas movies! Normally I tend to avoid the practice of watching and resist even the notion that we should be thinking that far ahead until at least after Thanksgiving. (For my family, Advent was always the main event until December 24th!) On the other hand there is never any violence or other unacceptable behavior in Hallmark movies; they are always all about love. So yesterday I took a knitting break for a half-hour, sitting in the living room where a familiar, sweet climax was unfolding. It was the story of 6-year old girl whose single mother had died and of her new life with her three extraordinarily loving uncles. In a discussion of Christmas, she told her uncles that she wanted to go to her house to celebrate in case her mother should come. Her uncle told her gently that her mother couldn’t be with her now like they were together, “but,” he said, “every time you think of her you can be sure she’s thinking of you.” She replied, “Well, then, she’s thinking of me all the time.”

Today we celebrate the feast of All Souls as we remember our loved ones who have died. The overriding theme for this day is hope, the virtue that allows us to believe among other things that those we love are in the hand of God and no torment shall touch them. (WIS 3:1) The little girl in the movie, perhaps unbeknownst to her, touched on a deep truth of the spiritual life. We cannot grasp the totality of the workings of the universe but we can have inklings about our connections beyond this physical realm. To believe that we are protected (guardian angels, perhaps?) and loved unceasingly can bring comfort and peace in times of grief and loss as well as in the days when we’d just like one more conversation with our Moms…I say, “GO AHEAD! Have a conversation.” Perhaps you’ll see a familiar sign – or just feel a presence that tells you that “for the faithful life is changed, not ended” and that death cannot break the bonds of those whose core connection is love.

This is a feast of thanksgiving for all those wonderful people who have taught us the lessons of life, for those who have challenged us to be more than we ever thought we could be and for those whose love remains in our hearts for all eternity. A blessed day indeed!