‘All Saints Day’

In most western Catholic traditions the 1st of November is celebrated as ‘All Saints Day’. In most European countries it is celebrated by visiting graves of our loved ones that have passed on, lighting candles and saying prayers for them. It has little or nothing to do with Saints as such.
When I was very young I perceived it as a very stupid thing to do. I thought those that have passed on were doing much better then the rest of us poor troopers still stuck on Earth and it should be them lighting candles for us here and saying prayers to perhaps make our Earthly lives a little easier and maybe more blessed.
Later on I started to notice that ‘All Saints Day’ and the very act of remembrance of our loved ones sometimes meant a lot of grief and anxiety for a lot of people. It wasn’t like this only for people who considered death an end to life, but also for those that did believe their loved ones have moved on to a better place. This seemed even more confusing.
My next comparison might not make sense to you, but bear with me. Imagine you decided to move to a different continent, miles and miles away from everything and everyone you loved. Now you are all alone in a foreign place, with no one to call your own and you are lonely and sad. You are aware that those you left behind are doing well, they are going about their business just as before you left them, but they are not there with you and that makes you said.
So since we have physical bodies we need physical presence to fill the void in our hearts. The void isn’t filled only by being loved, but quite the contrary, by the act of loving others ourselves. Whether our loved ones have passed on or are simply living on the other side of the world is quite irrelevant, we’ll miss them just the same.
But you know what? It’s ok. That’s what makes the human experience so amazing. It just shows us how loving we really are deep in our core in our very souls. The only thing that really matters is love. So why not spending this ‘All Saints Day’ and all other days of the year showing our dear ones exactly how much we love them, while they are still here, physically present with us?!

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