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Dear Reader

I compose and post these articles with only one desire in my heart: to praise God and to offer modest help on your spiritual journey.

Friday, October 24, 2014

DAY OF THE DEAD

El Dia de Los Muertos – is the Mexican celebration of All Souls Day
November 2nd. For those of you who do not follow a liturgical calendar
this is a day worth considering whatever your faith expression may be.

In the Christian holy scriptures we are given this beautiful image in
Hebrews 12:1 of the "cloud of witnesses" that surround us. These are
the witnesses to faith who have gone before us and have proven by
their faith that there is no suffering, no trial, no power that could
oppress a person of faith. This very powerful and moving chapter of
Hebrews cheers us on when we may have tripped or fallen in the race of
life. It gives us the beautiful and powerful vision of heroes not only
spoken of in books or portrayed in movies, but those heroes in our
lives surrounding us from the other side of life offering courage.

"Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen our weak knees, and
make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put
out of joint, but rather healed. Heb.12:12"

The fear of death can terrify us and cripple our capacity to live life
more fully. The Day of the Dead in Mexican culture makes candy
skeletons and figurines that mock death. It gives us a reality check
which one can find in many other cultures and religions that honor
their ancestors.

Death is a major part of life. In our sanitized and specialized modern
world we tend to isolate and ignore the dying. We're urged to "get
over" the death of our loved ones. But one cannot ever "get over" the
death of those whom we have loved and have loved us. But we also don't
have to stay in a state of sorrow and tears. We can come to the point
of celebrating life by celebrating the lives of those who have died.
For they are very much alive in our hearts and their memories urge us
forward in our journey through life.

In Mexican culture making a shrine in the home with pictures of their
deceased loved ones, and visiting the cemetery to decorate their
graves and placing unique skeletons around these pictures places one
in the middle of that "cloud of witnesses".

Thus the "Day of the Dead" or All Souls Day is an opportunity to draw
strength and encouragement by recalling those who have gone before us.
It allows us to recall those qualities of character that have inspired
us. It is the opportunity to share a memory of a loved one whom we
treasure in hearts. It is an occasion to recall those who may have
only briefly touched our lives but who have left their footprint on
our life's path.

Take courage then, remember, and celebrate life.

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