November—the Month of Remembering

“Just Passing Through” by Sr Mary Frances Collett, RNDM

During my regular walks in the very beautiful cemetery of Houston where my parish church of St.Fillan’s is situated, I am always drawn to one particular grave. There is a photograph of a young man standing with his bicycle. Underneath is inscribed the words: “I will just gather my bits and bobs and then I’ll be off!” One can only guess the story behind those words. But for me it is so poignant. It is a wake-up call that life is very fragile and uncertain. But oh! How magical is even one day of it when we do try—(though prone to fail) — to live it to the full with immense gratitude and enthusiasm. It has been said that when Queen Victoria was on her death bed she said she would gladly give away all her Kingdom and possessions for just one more day of life on earth.

leaveAs the days shorten and the evenings darken, we cannot but notice and ponder on the many changes taking place around us in nature.  The breath-taking majesty of autumn with its radiant display of colour, gracefully allows and gently encourages the manifold leaves of its trees to float down and create a carpet beneath our feet.  The bare branches are a solemn reminder that like the fading flowers, “all flesh is grass. It too withers and fades.”

Our thoughts and prayers turn to our dearly loved Sisters, relatives and friends who have been “just passing through” their final time on earth during the past year and are now – having recalled the manifold memories of yesterday: “their bits and bobs”– have let go of this fabulous but mortal existence – to embrace their eternal destiny and the promise of a glorious resurrection.

In so many nations of the world, young men and women are dying daily on battlefields: people of all ages clinging to life in our hospitals and Care Homes: Millions starving to death in famine torn areas.

For every one –each man, woman or child staring into the cruel face of death, we cry out to the Lord: God of mercy and compassion, look with pity upon them all.

A Personal Reflection

Passing through a life threatening situation


He came to give life to the full.

After much resistance I went to meet Him.

It started with my toes.

I dared to stand upon the shore when tide was coming in

and let it “happen.”

I did not have to move – just stood there waiting.

It was very dark and I was all alone. It took the whole night long.

The water crept up, gently till it reached my head

and then I had a choice to sink or swim.

Alas! I was no swimmer.

So trusting myself fearfully to the rising swell

I let it carry me along.

I felt it gently gather me up and blend me into a peaceful rhythm

making us truly ONE – myself totally dependent on the ebb and flow.

Why Christ did this for me I will never know!