November 1, 2010

The feast of All Saints is absolutely one of my favorite feast days. I anticipate it with an underlying feeling of excitement and joy. Part of it I'm sure stems back to my childhood when November 1 was a day off from school and my siblings and me would spend the day trading Halloween candy collected the night before. Now I celebrate the feast honoring my special 'saints' in heaven who have become my friends over the years and have helped me lead a deeper Christian life by their good example. Two of them I got to know through their writing....

Caryll Houselander, who was named after a boat, died of breast cancer the year I was born. She was an amazing British woman who was quite eccentric with a very engaging personality. She was a wood carver and a mystic; she was able to see Christ in everyone, Christ Risen, Christ in the Tomb, Christ in the mentally disturbed children that only she could reach.

Flannery O'Connor, a more familiar figure, became my friend and mentor years ago when I was in bed recovering from surgery. Someone brought me her letters to read, a book titled A Habit of Being. I didn't know much about her, I hadn't read any of her works. The woman is hilarious, full of good humor and full of faith. All this in spite of the fact that she developed lupus in her 20's and was confined to her family home. In her letters she never complains. In her life she devoted the two hours a day of energy she had to her writing and had a serious and disciplined prayer life.

There are more. Who will you especially celebrate today?

Sister Maggie