I've noticed, over the past two weeks, that many of you have lost loved ones recently. Or perhaps you are caring for loved ones who will be leaving you soon.
On one of my recent walks, I found the impression of this leaf left behind in the concrete pathway. The leaf, once young and green and bursting with life is now but a memory. But memory lives on.
Like the impression left behind by this leaf, we are left with the deep impressions of the people who shone most strongly in our lives. We keep them alive, long after they are gone from us. Pictures. Letters. Precious cards. Stories of times shared together that become family lore.
No matter how we keep our memories, they remain solid and clear for a long time. Like an impression in concrete, only time will erode the impression. Seasons pass. People pass. Becoming memories themselves. For as long as the line lasts, the memory lasts. It may fade but it never quite disappears.
"The Christian who unites his own death to that of Jesus views it as a step towards him and an entrance into everlasting life. When the Church for the last time speaks Christ's words of pardon and absolution over the dying Christian, seals him for the last time with a strengthening anointing, and gives him Christ in viaticum as nourishment for the journey, she speaks with gentle assurance."
We are all children of God and this prayer is for all His children.
Go forth, Christian soul, from this world
in the name of God the almighty Father,
who created you,
in the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God,
who suffered for you,
in the name of the Holy Spirit,
who was poured out upon you.
Go forth, faithful Christian!
May you live in peace this day,
may your home be with God in Zion,
with Mary, the virgin Mother of God,
with Joseph, and all the angels and saints. . . .
May you return to your Creator
who formed you from the dust of the earth.
May holy Mary, the angels, and all the saints
come to meet you as you go forth from this life. . . .
May you see your Redeemer face to face.