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Posts tagged ‘All Saints Day’

Whatsoever is Holy on All Saints Day

We think of our imaginations as conjuring up things that don’t exist, but sometimes, our imaginations can help us see things that really do exist.

If I close my eyes and quiet my soul, I can immediately see the Mount of Beatitudes. It is real.

I have been there.

img_1277I can see it in my mind as though I have made that flight to Tel Aviv and driven north to Galilee.

Just because I can imagine standing there even though I am not at this moment standing there, well, that doesn’t mean it isn’t real. It is. img_1196

 

 

And it is beautiful.

 

 

 

 

 

It is the backdrop for today’s Gospel Reading. On this Holy Day, All Saints Day, we remember the holy ones who fought the good fight and inherited the crown of glory. The First Reading is from the Book of Revelation and it tells us that a great multitude, which no one could count, from every nation, race, people, and tongue … stood before the throne and before the Lamb, wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands.

Close your eyes, quiet your mind. You can see it. You may not be there, but you can see it. The passage affirms that the angels are there, too. And they are praising God. And they are praying, interceding before the Lamb, whose Blood has washed their garments and made them white.

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Yes, it requires imagination. How long has it been since you let your imagination go to something beautiful, glorious — real!

 

 

These pictures are all photos I took in Galilee. The Beatitudes are from the Church of the Primacy of Peter along the Sea of Galilee. The photos of the Mount of Beatitudes where Jesus preached this sermon were taken from another side of that same Sea.

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It is real.

The Mount.

The Words.

The holy ones.

All Saints.

Angels.

The Blood of the Lamb that makes our souls white as snow.

 

The crowd gathered that day and sat on the hillside. Jesus stood directly below them, and the wind came up from the Sea and carried His words – a natural acoustic.

I have stood on a balcony eleven floors up from the Sea of Galilee in Tiberias and heard conversations between fisherman on the sea below.

The Wind carries the words.

The Wind of the Holy Spirit carries the Word.

Behold, they stand before the Throne, and they intercede. There is such a thing as a holy imagination.

Close your eyes. Quiet your mind.

Let your soul see,

and your heart lead you along the steps of the holy ones who came before you.

 

The Smithsonian, Hope Diamond, and Litany of Saints

We visited the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C. when I was thirteen. A few of the collections were particularly memorable. The locomotives in the train room frightened me. That’s where I first realized that I was a little claustrophobic. The fifty-two foot Foucault Pendulum and the American flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to write our national anthem were fascinating. We spent three days visiting the Smithsonian. Each day, my sister and I ran straight for the railing where we could look down and watch the pendulum swing back and forth. At the end of each visit, we said our good-byes to the stained and weathered American flag.

But the two things that I remember the most were the Hope Diamond and the Bradford Toy House. Read more

Halloween – through the eyes of a converted heart.

I’ve had a love-hate relationship with Halloween. As a child, I liked dressing up and getting candy, but once I became an adult, Halloween lost its appeal. In fact, I began to dislike it.

I saw only pumpkins and ghoulish characters. Too much orange & black and too much concentration on things from the dark side. I put up with Halloween. And that’s about it.

One of the first changes after my conversion was the realization that, as Catholics, we begin a celebration of a holy day on the evening before. Take, for example, Saturday vigil or anticipatory Masses for Holy Days of Obligation. Read more