We Remember Them

November 1, 2018

I spent yesterday with our middle daughter on her fourth grade retreat. The theme was “The Saints” anticipating the Solemnity of All Saints today. At the close of the retreat, the students were invited to create their own icons of the small “s” saints in their lives. They created beautiful icons of their loved ones who died and included images that captured their special traits and the way they brought light to the world. You can see their icons in the image associated with this post.

I was struck by how every one of these nine and ten year olds lost a loved one already in their lives. Some were very close to them and others were distant relatives. Their words and hearts touched my heart deeply as I listened to their stories of their loved ones and I heard their longing for the one no longer with us. It mirrored the stories I long to share about my grandfather who passed away earlier this year and the longing I have for him.

It is not only these fourth graders who are remembering people today, nor am I the only one remembering someone special in my life who died today. I know each one of you is remembering a loved one today as we celebrate All Saints.

Sometime this past year, one of my readers, a beautiful woman named Mary Ann, shared this prayer with me. It is written by Sylvan Kamens & Rabbi Jack Riemer. It feels like a fitting day to share this with our entire community of readers this week, as we grieve the loss of the eleven people who were killed at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburg last weekend while simply practicing their faith.

Today, let us remember these eleven men and women and each one of our loved ones.

We Remember Them

At the rising of the sun and at its going down
We remember them.
At the blowing of the wind and in the chill of winter
We remember them.
At the opening of the buds and in the rebirth of spring
We remember them.
At the blueness of the skies and in the warmth of summer
We remember them.
At the rustling of the leaves and in the beauty of autumn
We remember them.
At the beginning of the year and when it ends
We remember them.
As long as we live, they too will live; for they are now a part of us as we remember them.
When we are weary and in need of strength
We remember them.
When we are lost and sick at heart
We remember them.
When we have joy we crave to share
We remember them.
When we have decisions that are difficult to make
We remember them.
When we have achievements that are based on theirs
We remember them.
As long as we live, they too will live; for they are now a part of us as we remember them.

All you holy men and women, pray for us as we pray for you and remember you.

Happy All Saints Day!

Becky is an Ignatian-trained spiritual director, retreat facilitator, and writer. She is the author of the Busy Lives and Restless Souls (March 2017, Loyola Press) and The Inner Chapel (April 2020, Loyola Press). She helps others create space to connect faith and everyday life through facilitating retreats and days of reflection, through writing, and through spiritual direction. With nearly twenty years of ministry experience within the Catholic Church, Becky seeks to help others discover God at work in the every day moments of people’s lives by utilizing St. Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises and the many gifts that our Catholic faith and Ignatian Spirituality provide.

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2 Comments

  1. Michael

    This prayer was simply inspiring!
    The labor of love to the least of these is what is remembered in eternity.

    Reply
  2. Lynda

    This prayer really speaks to my heart. I sent it on to a friend as well.
    Thank you for sharing this with us!
    Blessings on all that you do for our Lord.

    Reply

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