The 1st of November is the solemnity of All Saints. It is commemoration of all those who have gone before us who now stand in company of the Blessed Trinity and the angels.
For me it has a personal significance – one I have broadened beyond the scope of the original intention. In the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius in the final contemplatio there is a ‘composition of place’ – I imagine myself standing before God our Lord, with the angels and saints interceding for me .
In my mind’s eye the image is clear – I am standing in the front of a quire style church – the floor tiles are oblique and alternating black and white. In the choir stalls are the saints and angels. They are personal to me. My saints and angels.
The people both living and dead who have supported me and who are supporting me in my life’s journey; who support me in my faith journey (whether they profess faith in the way I do or not).
I know my interpretation is not quite what the Church intends for this feast. But I love the image of those who have been my guides and those who have loved me willing me on to greater truth. I stand where I am now because of those who have been willing to hold me when I was less able to face into what is real. I stand where I am now because of I stand with others who have chosen the painful path of what is real.
On this day, I am deeply grateful to my company of saints and angels.