Thursday, 31 October 2013

All Saints tide.

After a very slobbish morning (snooze until the back of 10) I headed out with the honest intention of a country walk.  Rain stopped play!  So it was off to the Co-Op for a paper, collect the memsahib's prescription and a brunch of Welsh Rarebit (allegedly "a la Fortnums" but I've had Rarebit in Fortnums and it was nothing like).  We went shopping for paint and other domestic stuff later and dined on pasta followed by choc enhanced yogurts and washed down with still lemonade.

It's the eve of All Saints Day and I always value the Feast of All Saints.  I particularly like the Commemoration and thanksgiving for the Saints in the SSF Daily Office and I particularly like the final petition: 

"For the martyrs and peacemakers of our time,who shine as lights in the darkness:
For all the unsung heroes and heroines of our faith, whose names are known to God alone:
For all those in our own lives who have revealed to us the love of God and shown to us the way of holiness."

That for me is the heart of celebrating All Saints: remembering the unremembered, celebrating the nameless who are still utterly loved and valued by God.  I hope and pray to be numbered with them in due course.  No poetry captures the glory of All Saints tide better than these words of Dom Gregory Dix:

"To those who know a little of Christian history probably the most moving of all the reflections it brings is not the thought of the great events and the well–remembered saints, but of those innumerable millions of entirely obscure faithful men and women, every one with his or her own individual hopes and fears and joys and sorrows and loves—and sins and temptations and prayers—once every whit as vivid and alive as mine are now. They have left no slightest trace in this world, not even a name, but have passed to God utterly forgotten by men. Yet each of them once believed and prayed as I believe and pray, and found it hard and grew slack and sinned and repented and fell again. Each of them worshipped at the Eucharist, and found their thoughts wandering and tried again, and felt heavy and unresponsive and yet knew—just as really and pathetically as I do these things. There is a little ill–spelled ill–carved rustic epitaph of the fourth century from Asia Minor:—‘Here sleeps the blessed Chione, who has found Jerusalem for she prayed much’. Not another word is known of Chione, some peasant woman who lived in that vanished world of Christian Anatolia. But how lovely if all that should survive after sixteen centuries were that one had prayed much, so that the neighbours who saw all one’s life were sure one must have found Jerusalem! What did the Sunday Eucharist in her village church every week for a life–time mean to the blessed Chione—and to the millions like her then, and every year since? The sheer stupendous quantity of the love of God which this ever repeated action has drawn from the obscure Christian multitudes through the centuries is in itself an overwhelming thought. (All that going with one to the altar every morning!)"


1 comment:

  1. Beautiful post. Thank you. I hope for a good reputation . . . and would like to be remembered for my faith - but still, the only thing that matters to me is pleasing the Lord Himself. If in some small way I can do that - then I will have lived my life well. Take care.