A time to reflect on the immense gift in store for us


By Fr. Troy Richmond
Guest Column

Fr. Richmond

During the month of Novem­ber, the Church invites us to reflect on our mortality and the brevity of our lives here on earth.  We dedicate the first day of November to the celebration of All Saints and the second to the commendation of All the Faithful Departed. As we grapple with the certainty of death, we find consolation in Christ’s victory over death and the hope of our blessed resurrection in Christ. 

At Mass, we profess in the Nicene Creed, “I believe in the Communion of Saints.”  As our faith assures us that there is more for us beyond the grave, so our belief in the Communion of Saints assures us that we are bound together as one in life and in death.  We belong to the “Church Militant,” to those members of the body of Christ who are still in the fight against sin and temptation, seeking the pursuit of holiness and the crown of righteousness. 

We are urged throughout the month of November, indeed each day of our lives, to pray for the “Church Suffering,” for those souls still undergoing purification in Purgatory.  Through the sharing of spiritual goods, the offering up of Masses and the lifting up of prayers, we continue to aid our brothers and sisters who are experiencing the refiner’s fire so that they may behold the brilliance and radiance of God face to face. 


Finally, we are encouraged and inspired by the “Church Triumphant,” those saints who now behold God face to face. Through their example, we are encouraged to strive, daily, for holiness of heart.  Through their intercession, we receive the strength to conquer sin and temptation.

Although November brings with it shorter days and the foreboding cold of winter, it is a blessed month indeed.  We are reminded this month that we are not alone but part of something much greater than what our human eyes can see.  Let us remember the shortness of our days so that we never lose sight of the immense gift in store for us, as we keep our hearts firmly fixed on our Lord. 

(Father Troy Richmond is pastor at St. Patrick Parish in Iowa City.)

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