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Listing November - 2011
Thought For Today resumes as normal tomorrow
'Love, like a river, will cut a new path whenever it meets an obstacle.' ~ Crystal Middlemas

There is a story from Hindu folklore about a man who saw a scorpion struggling in a deep pool of water. He decided to try to save it by stretching out a finger but the creature instantly stung him. Again the man tried to remove the scorpion from the water but he was stung again. An onlooker urged him to give up and go home. But the man who was trying to rescue the scorpion said: "It is the nature of the scorpion to sting. It is my nature to love. Why should I give up my nature because it is contrary to the way of the scorpion?" Let's face it there are lots of situations and people who sting us. Do we sting back or do we respond with love. The latter is the response of the Gospels. We are invited to love and to keep on loving even when others think it's a waste of time.
Yes we long for time to ponder, to wonder, to pray, yet at this stage of the year, time seems even more elusive than usual. So much needs to be squeezed into every hour of every day. Yet the desire and the craving claw at us, convincing us that we would find ourselves less stressed if we would heed God's invitation to be still for a few minutes each day. ~Joyce Huggett

Yesterday marked the beginning of our journey through Advent. Advent is from the Latin word 'Adventus' meaning arrival. It is a time of waiting for the arrival of Christmas. Advent is a time to celebrate light in the midst of darkness. It is a beautiful season but often gets pushed to the side lines because we have more pressing priorities. As life causes us to rush and race we know that there is another part of life that is waiting to be discovered. This other part often comes in small packages like quiet time, prayer, counting our blessings, listing our priorities and finding hope in the midst of darkness and doubts. Advent is never forced but always invites. We are invited to personalise the coming weeks. What is the biggest darkness in my life at the moment? Who or what might bring me a sense of light and hope in my life? Advent allows us to hold deeper questions and to find the beginning of some answers as we journey towards Christmas.
The following reflection is by Triona Doherty called "Wake up call"

Many of us will have noticed a change in the language used at Mass in recent weeks. Since September we have been getting used to a series of changes to the Mass, and today, the first Sunday of Advent, the new translation of the Missal comes fully into effect. You will be aware that some of the congregation's responses are changing, such as the use of 'And with your spirit' instead of 'And also with you'. There are also changes to some of the people's prayers such as the Confiteor, the Gloria, the Creed, and the Sanctus, and to the parts of the Mass spoken by the priest.

Specially produced congregational cards and missalettes are available in our parishes to assist us as we familiarise ourselves with the new wording. We will all need to be on our toes to make sure we are getting the responses and prayers right. Until we get used to the new wording, we will be more alert than usual. We will not be able to rattle off prayers without thinking, as can be so easy to do when the words are so familiar. What a fitting time, then, to introduce the new translation. In today's Gospel, Jesus urges his disciples to 'be on your guard', to 'stay awake'. It is very much in the spirit of Advent that we stay alert. When we pray we do more than recite words. Let us use this time to discover anew the meaning of the Mass.
The following anonymous story is called 'Reflect A Little Sunshine' and is appropriate as we begin our journey through Advent tomorrow.

In a tenement district of New York City, a boy in ragged clothes was seen with a small mirror in his hand. Holding it high in the air, he waved it back and forth, watching the narrow window many floors above him. "What are you doing?" a man roared at the boy. "Like most street urchins, you're probably up to some no good mischief, aren't you?" The boy looked up into the man's stern face and said: "See that window up there, Sir. Well, I have a little brother whose room's on that floor. He's paralyzed and the only sunlight he ever sees is what I can shine up to him with my mirror!"
'For each new morning with its light, for rest and shelter of the night, for health and food, for love and friends, for everything your goodness sends.' ~Ralf Waldo Emerson

Yesterday was Thanksgiving Day in the U.S and it is always celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November. Many families will have gathered to celebrate, to share a meal, to relax and importantly to give thanks for blessings received. Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Japan, Korea, Liberia, and Switzerland also celebrate a Thanksgiving Day. Thanksgiving Day is a reminder to all of us, to pause too and to quietly thank God for all our blessings. Maybe we find it hard to be grateful but for many of us who take much for granted, it is good to pause, reflect and give thanks. Eckhart once said that if the only prayer you said in your whole life was "Thank You", then that would suffice. We thank God today and this weekend for all that's good in our lives, for our family and friends, for love and friendship, for health and food and for so much more that we could say thanks for.
'In quiet prayer, talk to God if you can. If you can't, just stay there, let God look at you and don't worry about anything.' ~St Francis de Sales

Any prayer is a willingness to take some time out and turn our thoughts to God. There has been much written about techniques, posture, types of prayer, where to pray and when. Even with the best intention prayer can sometimes be a step beyond us. There are times when we just don't know how to get started or what to say. It is comforting to know that all we need to do is just stay in that moment of not having it all worked out or what to say. God knows our good intention, what we want to say and our willingness to take some time out. We may think that such a prayer is a waste of time and could have been better spent doing something else. However such prayer is honest, worthwhile and always worth the effort.
'November is the pause button of the year, if we could but open our hearts to it. It comes to us, not wrapped in the glowing colours of other seasons, but in sombre, dark tones.' ~Charlie Meagher

Not many would put November down as their favourite month. It is easy to see why. All around the landscape is bleak and bare, our gardens are empty of colour, we feel starved of light and long for those warm summer days. We try and distract ourselves away from the dreariness of November by simply being busy. But it is our loss if we try and run away from what November has to offer. It offers us the invitation to pause, to look at our own lives and to think about those parts of our lives that also feel bleak, cold and in darkness. Jesus was laid into a dark empty tomb on Good Friday and the stone was rolled into a sealed position. It was meant to be the end. But it wasn't. Whatever is bleak, barren, dark or cold in our lives comes with a promise of new life, change and most importantly hope. November may not be our favourite month but it does have a lot to offer.
'Where there is music you are never alone. It is true that we hear a lot of music but rarely listen to it properly, as we either allow or are forced to let our attention wander.' ~Gordon Giles

There is music for every occasion. In shopping centres easy listening is the normal choice to relax customers. It is used at airports to calm nervous passengers. Classical music has been played in areas where graffiti or unsociable behaviour takes place. It has the desired effect of calming and reducing antisocial behaviour. Radio stations are constantly trying to woo us with music we will like. We all have our own unique taste of music. Today hundreds of songs can be stored in a portable device the size of a matchbox. The digital age has allowed music to become everyone's best friend. The downside to it all is that with access to endless amounts of music, we can take it all for granted, not appreciate it and perhaps forget that music is gift. Today is the feast day of St. Cecilia. She is the patroness of music and musicians and a reminder how music is a precious gift from God. Music is the pulse and heartbeat of life. Music is there for every occasion. It can uplift, calm and relax. It goes way beyond words. Today is a day to appreciate music and in particular your favourite type of music. What will you listen to today?
'Though we cannot prove the existence of an afterlife, throughout the ages peoples all over the world from the Egyptians to the American Indians to the Irish have built monuments to honour their dead, believing that in some mysterious way they continued in another existence.' ~Mary Troy

We are now into the third week of November. Throughout the past few weeks many parishes have remembered loved ones who have died. For some it will have begun at home with people writing down the names of their deceased loved ones on a sheet and returning it to their local church where prayers have been said. People also visited cemeteries where prayer services were held. November weather can be so unpredictable but they have been well attended. The cynic might say what a waste of time but to a person of faith it is good, healthy and normal to remember a loved one who has died. Grieving is a slow journey, it needs time and often with small faltering steps. Any ritual, prayer service or way of remembering a loved one who has died brings with it great healing and comfort. These sacred spaces when we remember and pray for those who have died will continue during the coming days of November. In many of these spaces the following prayer will often be said: "Eternal rest grant unto them O Lord, may perpetual light shine upon them and may they rest in peace. Amen"
The following reflection called 'Unsung Heroes' is by Triona Doherty

Have you ever seen the TV programme Secret Millionaire? In each episode a millionaire leaves his or her luxury life behind, takes on a secret identity, and lives undercover in a deprived area to find out who needs their help. They work alongside local people, discovering individuals and projects they think deserve a share of their fortune, before coming clean and surprising them with monetary gifts to help them in their work.

Often those who most impress the benefactor are those who are quietly working for the benefit of others, who give generously of their time and talents to make a better life for those in their local community. They are the ones who, in spite of their busy lives, are also the most welcoming and helpful to the undercover millionaire. They are not in it for the money. They are not generous to the visitor among them because he is rich or because they expect to get something out of them. They are the people who see a need and do something to tackle it, and their simple acts of generosity lead to great rewards.

Jesus expects us to treat everyone we encounter with sensitivity and generosity. Today's Gospel reminds us of our responsibility to care for our fellow man; to feed the hungry, make strangers welcome, provide for those who are without, visit those who are sick or imprisoned. There are simple acts of mercy we can carry out each day. Such love for others is love for God: as the Gospel tell us, 'In so far as you did this to the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me.'
World Remembrance Day for Road Traffic Victims only takes place once a year but anyone who has lost a loved one on the roads will know that you live with your memories and grief every day of the year.' ~Donna Price

Tomorrow (Nov 20th) is World Remembrance Day for road traffic victims. It is a day to remember those whose lives have been tragically lost on our roads and whose families have been devastated. Speed causes 40% of all fatal crashes each year. At 60mph (100kmp) we travel 88 feet in just one second. The faster we go the greater the distance we will need to stop. Since records began in Ireland back in 1959: 23,057 people have died on our roads. Behind every tragedy lies a traumatised family and a shattered community. Tomorrow gives everyone an opportunity to remember those who have been killed or injured on our roads, as well as the people left behind. Thankfully we are making progress. 166 people have died on Irish roads so far this year which is down 46 on this day last year. Let's hope we continue to make progress. Tomorrow we pause to remember and pray for all road traffic victims across the world and in particular our own local area.
'True friendship is like sound health; the value of it is seldom known until it be lost.' ~Charles Caleb Colton

Two men were traveling together, when a bear suddenly met them on their path. One of them climbed up quickly into a tree and concealed himself in the branches. The other, seeing that he must be attacked, fell flat on the ground, and when the bear came up and felt him with his snout, and smelt him all over, he held his breath, and feigned the appearance of death as much as he could. The bear soon left him, for it is said he will not touch a dead body. When he was quite gone, the other traveller descended from the tree, and jokingly inquired of his friend what it was the bear had whispered in his ear. "He gave me this advice," his companion replied, "Never travel with a friend who deserts you at the approach of danger!" Which leaves us to ponder who are my true and dearest friends? Would I stand with them no matter what? Has a friend stood by me during a crisis in my life? Do I need to appreciate my friends a bit better?
Is God's love for us unconditional or is it dependent on our behaviour? And the answer is that the love that God poured into us when we were created remains with us throughout our lives, through death and into eternal life. And nobody and nothing, not even our own sinfulness can diminish God's love for us one iota. God's love for us is unconditional - it means what it says on the tin! ~Peter McVerry

If only we believed this what a difference it would make to our lives. We go around carrying so many heavy and negative burdens. We add to their weight by thinking that we are outside the circle of God's love. We feel we are outside because of stuff we have done, mistakes made or a feeling that God has let us seriously down somewhere. But God's circle of love goes way beyond our limitations and setbacks. We're headstrong and we hold tough. We're outside the circle and we feel there's no going back in. But today God says to each of us that we are within this circle of love. We've got to take a step forward and we've got to believe that God is on our side. Nobody and nothing can take that away from us.
'When it comes to doing any task there are always three choices. We can either give up, give in or give it our all' ~Author Unknown

There were great celebrations last night in the Aviva Stadium as Ireland qualified for Euro 2012 which takes place in Poland and the Ukraine. Ireland has not taken part in this competition for 24 years. Only the best teams can qualify and our turn at long last has come. The hardest part of the job was done last Friday when they beat Estonia 4-0 away from home. Huge praise has rightly surrounded this team and management. There has been much talk about the lift it will give to our country and this is so true. There have been many dark and depressing days in recent years. This is a genuine good news story and at its heart is how this team never gave up or gave in but simply gave it their all. It has paid off spectacularly and everyone can now look forward to the summer of 2012 when this Irish team will do everyone proud. We thank God today for the gift of sport and in particular how it can unite and uplift. We thank God too for this Irish team who simply give it their all. It's all any of us can do too as we journey through life.
'Most quarrels amplify a misunderstanding.' ~Andre Gide

A farm worker had got into the habit of not turning up on Monday mornings. This irritated the farmer, so one day he decided to have word with him: "Look, here this habit of taking Mondays off will have to stop. You'll have to change your ways." The following Monday morning the farm worker was back to the delight of the farmer but was missing again on the Tuesday morning. The farmer was furious: "What's the meaning of this? I thought you'd agreed to change your ways." "Oh I'm so sorry," replied the farm worker, "I thought you said change your days."!! Sometimes it all comes down to one word and how we can misunderstand what's been said. So many arguments, friction and fighting often start over nothing. It can often come down to a few careless words, spoken without depth or thought. The damage they can do has lost many friendships. But one word can also make the world of a difference. Words such as 'yes', 'no', 'thanks', 'appreciate', 'encourage', 'welcome', 'smile', 'forgiven', 'sorry' and many more can change a situation for the better. We pray to the Holy Spirit to guide and direct us in everything we say. May we use words wisely and carefully, with depth and meaning.
'Everyday holds the possibility of a miracle.' ~Elizabeth David

On a November night back in 1947, James Townsend, aged 20, shot dead his wife, who was pregnant with twins. Found guilty of first degree murder, Townsend was sentenced to life in prison. The judge told him he should never be released again. After some years in prison he decided to con his way to freedom by faking a spiritual awakening. He began as sacristan for the prison chaplain but soon found himself being deeply moved by the Gospel stories he was hearing. The message of forgiveness, love and hope deeply touched him and a conversion began over many years. In 1967 he was granted an early release. He had thought of joining the strict Trappist order to do penance for all the evil he had done but was directed to the Capuchin Order. The Friars saw all kinds of "red flags" when he wanted to join their order but eventually decided that his faith was genuine. Some years later he became known as Brother Jim. Rather than hiding his appalling past, he recognised that his story could help other prisoners. He gave many retreats to prison inmates and had many one to one conversations with prisoners. His story deeply touched their pain and resonated with everything that was going on for them. Through his ministry there was much healing and great peace was given to many prisoners through the work of Brother Jim. He died on June 12th this year, aged 84.
The following reflection is by Triona Doherty

When you were at school or college, was there that one person who was good at everything, who got As in every subject, was a skilled sportsperson, a gifted musician, and was involved in every activity going? We all know people who seem to be good at anything they turn their hand to. Everything they touch turns to gold. In the parable in today's Gospel, the skills of the servants really do result in gold! The 'talents' which the servants are given are units of currency - the first two servants double their money, while the third, afraid to take a risk, buries his in the ground. But the point is not the amount of talents given to each. What pleases the master is how the talents are used. The greatest crime is to 'hide your talent in the ground', to fail to use the gift you have been given. This parable is often seen as an exhortation to use our God given talents and to take risks for his sake. God gives talents to every person, and they vary from person to person. However, we eventually have to give an account of these gifts and what we did with them. The poet John Milton reflected on this parable in his sonnet 'On His Blindness':
When I consider how my light is spent Ere half my days, in this dark world and wide, And that one talent, which is death to hide, Lodged with me useless, though my soul more bent To serve therewith my Maker, and present My true account, lest He, returning, chide.
The Lord Is My Pace Setter ~Author Unknown

The Lord is my Pace Setter, I shall not rush. He makes me stop and rest for quiet intervals. He provides me with images of stillness which restore my serenity. He leads me in ways of efficiency through calmness of mind and his guidance is peace. Even though I have a great many things to accomplish each day I will not fret. For his presence is there. His timelessness, his all importance will keep me in balance. He prepares refreshment and renewal in the midst of my activity, by anointing my mind with his oils of tranquillity. My cup of joyous energy flows. Surely harmony and effectiveness shall be the fruits of my hours, for I shall walk in the pace of my Lord and dwell in his house forever.
'A great deal of what we see depends on what we're looking for.' ~Author Unknown

Today is a unique day as it is the 11/11/11. For anyone born today it will always be a day to remember. Todays date may be unique but it will also be unique by what we bring to this day. If we all experienced the same thing each day, our lives would be very boring. Everyone's experience is just so different each day and of course it all depends on what we're looking for. If our expectations are high and unrealistic the chances are we're going to be disappointed. If our demands of other people are too high then we are sure to be disappointed. In our gospels Jesus says to look for small things first. He spoke about a tiny little mustard seed growing into the biggest tree of them all. When we're looking for little and small we will find plenty. They all do add up to something substantial. Our baptism wasn't just a once off event. It's effects last a lifetime. It brings the best out in us and allows us to become the person God created us to be. Today I can look for something good in my life. It may be small, it may seem insignificant but within the bigger picture it is the most precious of all.
'As children we had a sense of wonder. Our eyes were wide open and drinking in the fascinating gifts we beheld. Our thirsty souls could not have enough of the wonders of creation. Then somehow we got too old to dream. We let wonder go to sleep.' ~Alfred McBride

It is well known that as we get older we get wiser, more street wise, cuter and better able to adapt to the complexities of life. If you pick up a stone from any part of a sea shore, it is always smooth and round. It has no sharp edges. The constant motion of water, waves and other stones have smoothened out all the sharp edges over time. The same goes with us too. Life smoothens out all our rough edges over time. But it also comes with a price too. We tend to lose our sense of wonder, our excitement for life and our unique dream of something special we'd like to happen. The call of the Gospel stories is to hold our sense of wonder, to have energy for life and to keep dreaming and hoping for everything that is good. Finding this balance is a lifelong challenge. Having some spiritual connection in a loving God is always an important link. Few find it fully, some never find it and so many can find it by realizing it is always just within our reach. All we have to do is just reach out.
'May God bless us with the faith that we need to overcome the problems and challenges of life. May we grow in confidence in God's power to help us and support us along the way.' ~Paul Clayton-Lea

The word prayer has often been trivialized and narrowed down into making it a way of getting what we want. Prayers of petition are an important part of many faith traditions but they are never an end in themselves. God is not a magician who grants certain requests and rejects many more. God is not selective and loves every single one of us the same. Prayer is not about trying to make God happy or a requirement for entry into heaven. Prayer can never become an obligation or something we have to do. It is better understood when we see it like a door or gateway. It opens up many opportunities and allows us to see that God is connected and present in everything we do. In St.Paul's letter to the Ephesians there is a lovely line that says everything exposed to the light itself becomes light. When we turn to God in prayer, no matter how briefly, we are exposed to this light and we are becoming the light itself. The difficulties and struggles of life may dim this light on occasions but never extinguish it. We keep this light always firmly in our sights.
'Human systems are imperfect and the hopes they generate are correspondingly fragile. Hope really knows but one true essence: Hope with a capital H - Hope of the eternal kind.' ~John Waters

We are all aware how on occasions our hopes have been built up and then to be knocked and pulled from us when we least expected it to happen. Life is fragile and our daily activities don't always work out the way we want. Hope is a word that is often spoken about but it's often built on shallow foundations. Hope is at the core of the Christian message and when we put it in such a context it takes on a new meaning. Very simply 'hope' becomes 'HOPE'. There seems to be fewer opportunities to be hopeful or cheerful during the month of November. As winter and darkness take a firmer hold, it can be easier to keep our heads down. Today we pray to God to instil hope and a sense of purpose and meaning in all we do each day. No matter how impossible, dark, difficult or frustrating our life situation is, we turn God our greatest source of hope.
'So many experiences of life point beyond, to a greater depth and to a deeper meaning. We believe that the ultimate meaning behind these human experiences is God. At the centre of the universe, despite its difficulties, problems and pain, there is love, an eternal love which we call God.' ~Frank Hoare

Each day is full of many life giving moments. It is fair to say that we take many of them for granted. But if we stop to reflect on some of these, we will know that so many of them have deep significance. They point to something much deeper and important. The smile of a new born baby is so much more than a facial expression. It's a soul smile, enveloped in love and untouched by the complexities of life. We respond unfailing with something that matches what we're getting. But we know we always fall short. A simple handshake or a hug can be a simple greeting but it can also be an extension of friendship, care, love or sympathy. The beauty of a flower, a sunset, a cloud formation or autumn colours all point to something beyond the moment. Instead of saying beyond the moment, it might be more correct to talk about in the moment. In these unique moments God is present. We can either dismiss this as idle talk or be open to the idea that there is something more out there and that the something more is rather special indeed!
The following reflection is by Triona Doherty called 'Awaiting The Bridegroom'.

Have you ever run out of fuel? Many of us will be familiar with the panic of seeing the red fuel light appear on the dashboard when we are miles from a petrol station, or had to deal with a flat tyre or a dead car battery. Thankfully these days we have mobile phones and roadside rescue to bail us out. But even with all the warning signals available to us, we can still run out once in a while. In this wedding story, the bridesmaids who run out of oil for their lamps are condemned as 'foolish'. Among the wedding customs in Jesus' time was a torch-lit procession at night time from the bride's home to the groom's. Bridesmaids were required to be in a constant state of preparedness, since the groom could appear at any time.

In this parable, the fact that the bridesmaids fall asleep is not the issue; all 10 bridesmaids grow drowsy and fall asleep. The issue is that some of them - the five foolish ones - were not sensible or watchful enough to ensure they had sufficient oil, and because of this they miss out on the wedding feast. There was no one to bail them out; the other bridesmaids had to carry on, for fear that sharing their oil would mean no one would have enough to continue. They must have got quite a shock when they eventually arrived at the bridegroom's house, only to be denied and turned away.

This parable must have served as a dramatic warning to the early Christian community, who were hoping for Jesus' speedy return. It let them know that they could be in for a long wait - 'you do not know either the day or the hour' and that they must be prepared. As well as having the light of faith, they must possess the fuel, the motivation and the actions - to keep it lit.
To coincide with Mid Term Break the Thought For Today this week is a repeat

A short story

There once was a wealthy man who was devastated when his only son was killed in a war. A friend of the son came to the house one day and gave the father a special gift: a painting he had done of his friend, the wealthy man's son. It became the man's most prized possession, even though he possessed a dazzling collection of priceless artwork. Some years later when the man died, his art was auctioned off. Collectors flocked to the event. The first piece on the block was the portrait of the man's son. 'Bring on the good stuff!' one collector shouted when he saw the painting. 'Who wants a picture like that?' The auctioneer replied, 'The gentleman left orders that this piece must be auctioned first.' A friend of the deceased man finally made a bid of 10 Euro. In fact, his was the only bid and he got the painting. The auctioneer immediately announced, 'The auction is over.' A cry went up from the crowd. 'What do you mean?' the collectors shouted. The auctioneer explained, 'The will states that he who is willing to take the son will receive everything else.' God has said the same thing about his own son. Through his son God wants to give us everything.
To coincide with Mid Term Break the Thought For Today this week is a repeat

'We draw encouragement and inspiration from our loved ones who have gone before us and blazed a trail for us. Each one has made the path that bit easier for us.' ~Flor McCarthyLanguages can differ considerably. French as a language will often use two words where English just has the one. An example is 'goodbye'. We just have the one word while the French use 'Au revoir'. Yesterday we celebrated the feast of All Souls. We continue to remember and pray for those who have died throughout this month of November. Some we got to say goodbye to, while others left us before any goodbyes could be said. Our prayers are an attempt at saying we haven't forgotten them and that they will always be a special part of our lives. The French have another word for goodbyes. They use 'Adieu' reserved for final definitive departures. The nearest English translation is 'until we meet in heaven'. May all our loved ones who have died rest in peace.
To coincide with Mid Term Break the Thought For Today this week is a repeat

'Death ends a life, not a relationship.' ~Robert Benchley

It is always difficult to understand death or make sense of the loss of a loved one through death. We want our loved ones with us always and yet we know that just as we are born we must also die. Today is traditionally known as All Souls Day and is a day to pause, reflect and pray for those who have died particularly our nearest and dearest. Many people will visit a cemetery today or some part of this month. It is not an empty or meaningless task. It's always good to remember those who have died. Our belief is that death is not an end but a beginning for the soul or spirit of the person who has died. Our belief is that our loved ones who have died are still near us but not physically with us. Trying to put this into words is never easy. The only words that really matter today are to our loved ones who have died. Some of these words might be: we still miss you, thank you for so many memories, you are remembered with love today, you will never be forgotten and may you rest in peace. Amen
To coincide with Mid Term Break the Thought For Today this week is a repeat

'A saint is a person who gives of themself without asking for anything in return. That's how simple it is to be a saint. Try it! Try being a saint.' ~Edward James Olmos

Today is the feast of All Saints. It always follows the day after Halloween. The origins of Halloween go back to the days when it was a pagan Celtic feast. They believed that after sunset on Samhain, which we now called Halloween, the spirits of the dead and evil spirits roamed the skies seeking to harm humans, especially if the dead had been harmed by them. To protect themselves people disguised themselves by dressing up in costumes and carried lights inside in turnips. In order to turn a pagan feast into a Christian feast, the Church placed the feast of All Saints on November 1st, to coincide with the pagan celebration. It would be a mistake to think today is about famous or celebrity Saints. Today is all about our own loved ones gone on before us who lived decent, honest, simple and down to earth lives. They may not have been famous, they may not have made headlines but in God's eyes they are now celebrities. Today we call them saints and we thank them for all the love they have shown us down through the years.


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