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Nicole Cavalier
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Shop helper, former pickpocket
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[align=center]THE FEAST OF THE DEPARTED[/align]
[align=right]2-nd of November 1719[/align]

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All you holy Saints of God, make intercession for us.
Be merciful, spare us, O Lord,
From all evil, O Lord, deliver us -
From all sin, from Your wrath,
From sudden and unlooked for death,
From the snares of the devil,
From anger, and hatred, and every evil will.

Fortunately, the quarantine has been lifted for Toussaint. It is a good thing, especially that now people have many more beloved departed to mourn. The churches and the cemeteries have been full.

All Saintsí Day and the day after, All Soulsí, today, are a time to think again about Maman, Papa and Pierre. For me, the only difference is in the colour of the flowers and fabrics adorning the church Ė white yesterday, violet today. And, of course, some of the content of the Mass.

Listening to it, I felt what I have been feeling for several times since my parents' death: that I have been spared for a reason. I don't know this reason yet, but it will be revealed some day. And I think it was a warning, a punishment for my sins by taking my parents, and, at the same time, the mercy with which God had told the sinner in the Holy Scriptures: "You are free. Go away and sin no more!" Yes, I am living a honest life and I am proud of it... but not too proud. I need to be humble and repenting for the past, in order to be forgiven.

At the first confession after the storm - it was before the quarantine settled, when starting a novena for the rest of their souls - the priest gave me absolution, given that I was repenting and that I hadn't added greed to my sins. So, as long as I keep on the right side of the road, I am safe. It was also proven by the fact that, through praying and helping the others, God kept away the sickness from me.

We attended, all three, the All Saints Mass. We took the confession and the Holy Eucharisty, and I paid a memorial for my beloved ones. I asked Madame Lucia and Ghislaine to give me the names of their beloved departed, and we put them all on the memorial list. But they donít have graves to visit. They lighted their candles only in the church.

It was exactly how the priest has explained about so many unknown saints Ė the same happens with our ancestors or beloved siblings, as I donít know where my brother Pierre has fallen in battle in Spain either:

There are some of them who have left a name,
So that men declare their praise.
And there are some who have no memorial,
who have perished as though they had not lived;
they have become as though they had not been born,
and so have their children after them.

Today I tressed three flower wreaths, evergreens and the sort of wild chrysanthemum which is cheaper than the regular ones which are the traditional flowers of the dead, and I went to the cemetery to light some candles there and put the wreaths on my parentsí grave. I gave some bread to the poor too, and I left a loaf on their grave too.

I succeeded to find Pere Dominique and pay him for a blessing of the grave as well, and I prayed with him. If the other two people who are buried there together with Maman and Papa rejoice too, the better.

I miss them terribly, especially Papa. Some days more than others, but they are in my thoughts.

O God, who hast commanded us to honor our father and our mother; in Thy mercy have pity on the souls of my father, my mother and my brother, and forgive them their trespasses; and make me to see them again in the joy of everlasting brightness. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
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