The Christmas Bazaar is this Friday and Saturday at the Our Lady of Peace School Cafeteria. All are most welcome. Thank you to all who have planned and organized the Bazaar. Their work began in the summer and in some cases since the close of last year’s Bazaar. Thank you also to those who have donated items, prepared gift baskets, purchased pound cakes, or any other way you have supported our parish and the Bazaar. Blessings to all.
Saturday, 11 November is Veterans’ Day – the 105th anniversary of the Armistice to end the First World War. Thank you, and blessings to all our veterans for your selfless service to our country and as we prepare for Remembrance Day ceremonies around the world, we pray for those who offered the ultimate sacrifice for freedom, and liberty.
“We felt held together by there being something that had happened that they, the people who disliked us, did not understand.”
That quote was from the Ernest Hemingway short story, “In Another Country.” “In Another Country” was written shortly after the First World War. The story is a series of conversations among the war wounded who are hospitalized and experience recovery, recuperation, and therapy – some physical, but mostly emotional, and spiritual.
Hemingway uses an interesting phrase that has many meanings: “We felt held together by there being something that had happened.” The short story speaks of the medical interventions that were being used to physically hold the individuals together. The comparison of how war wounds were received, and the implications of those injuries held them together emotionally. The experiences and the horrors of the war itself spiritually held them together.
Hemingway’s work, as well as John McCrae’s “In Flanders Fields” are two of many literary works about the First World War. The Poetry Foundation – poetryfoundation.org – offers a collection of poems from a century ago – Poets of World War I: National Perspectives. The poems are grouped by nation to gain an understanding of the conflict from different points of view.
Speaking of different points of view, the Synod recently concluded its gathering at the Vatican. The Synod was not designed to be a deliberative body to advance changes in Church practices but as a consultative gathering that can offer suggestions. The 350 delegates to the Synod were grouped at round tables where each of the individuals at the table were offered timed opportunities to share their perspective without interruption. Opportunities later came for discussion and challenges. These were then noted and presented to the entire Synod not as a consensus but as a presentation of the communication and discussion itself.
Pope Francis, at his homily at the close of the Synod, expressed his views based on the Gospel of Sunday, 29 October. The Pope discussed the foundation of love and the movements of the heart that call us to adore God and serve our neighbor.
Pope Francis calls us back to adoration which has become a forgotten aspect of our faith life. “Let us devote time every day to intimacy with Jesus the Good Shepherd, adoring him in the Tabernacle. For only through silent adoration will the word of God live in our words; only in his presence will we be purified, transformed, and renewed by the fire of his Spirit.”
Pope Francis speaks of service as an extension of adoration. Through love of God and love of neighbor the church becomes a place of “welcome, service, and forgiveness.” Quoting St. John Chrysostom, the Pope continues: “The merciful man is a harbor to those who are in need; and the harbor receives all who are escaping shipwreck, and frees them from danger, whether they be evil or good; whatsoever kind of men they be that are in peril, it receives them into it shelter.”
Pope Francis concluded his remarks: “The Lord will guide us and help us to be a more synodal and missionary Church, a Church that adores God and serves the women and men of our time, going forth to bring to everyone the consoling joy of the Gospel.”