Reflection for October

Remembering and cherishing what we have had.

Queen EAlready we can see the end of the year fast approaching. Many say, “Where has this year gone, already we are facing a long winter?” “This year has just simply flown by!” All those lovely summer months and extended warm days have simply gone and now just a passed memory. Yet, certain things remain with us and no matter what time of the year it is, they will always remain with us as cherished times.

September 8, the Birth of Our Blessed Lady, will be like no other year. While many were gathered in the churches and chapels to commemorate the birth of their Heavenly Queen and Mother, within hours, the world was shaken with the death of another Queen and mother, Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. For some, this was the most fitting day for our Queen to leave us: a mother and Queen, deeply committed with her “yes” to accept the role of being monarch and defender of the faith. Seventy years of dedication and inspiration, not only to her subjects on these Isles but also across the world, enabled her to reach out to many cultures and denominations. Old and young were part of her story.

As her coffin was carried from place to place and followed and viewed by thousands, the image of goodness was among us. What stirred such grief towards a woman we hardly knew?  Accept from the TV coverage and millions of photographic magazines of her around the world, what brought so many of us to shed a tear and to feel that we had lost a personal family member? We could try to analyse, politicise and seek logical reasons for our grief but one thing it did show was that we all recognised in her something deep within each of us – the loss of someone who held truth and displayed a faithful confidence in God. A spiritual mother, grandmother we all long for.

OctAs Mary, the Mother of Jesus and Queen of Heaven has captured so many hearts over the centuries, in the same way, we know that September 8 will always touch us like no other day of the year from now on. Her Majesty, Elizabeth II was a Queen and mother we knew here on earth, so she will live on and, for so many believing people, she will always be associated with another chosen woman, Mary, the mother of Jesus.

As we begin this month dedicated to Mary, let us remember all our loved ones who share the glory of heaven and everlasting peace. May our long lived Queen find her eternal rest and peace with the Lord she served so faithfully.

Hear our thanks for Elizabeth our late Queen,

blessed by grace,

resolute in service,

modest in person,

for the years of her reign and the sweep of history

through which she provided both anchor and springboard,

we thank you for her dedication to this nation and Commonwealth

and for all her gifts of wisdom, kindness and inclusion she brought to her long decades. Amen.

Prayer from the Service at St Giles Cathedral, Perth Scotland.

Sr Rose Mary Harbinson, RNDM