"For those who believe, life has not ended but changed."
Yesterday was the commemoration of All Souls, an important day for the monks of Mount Angel Abbey. The fog rolled in and covered the hill most of the morning. After the mass, everyone processed to the cemetery with the monks taking the lead. With hoods covering their heads, the monks processed through the fog. Once we got there, Father Odo with holy water blessed the graves of this brothers. Following that, he incensed the cemetery by weaving through the rows of simple cross grave markers.
We all left the cemetery in silence. This day was a day of recollection for the whole seminary. We had conferences lead by Abbot Gregory Duer, OSB.
Most of my day was reflecting on burying my mom nearly a year ago and my father almost four years. I truly missed their presence and the ability to have a conversation with them. My father a hard working person trying to make ends meet found his rest in drinking. I regret not spending time with him having some Ahi Poke (raw fish snack eaten while hanging out) or learn about this trade of making Hawaiian jewelry. His life well lived, was too short. My mom battled breast cancers for almost two years before going home to the Lord. I wish I spend more time with her listening to her stories of the past and learning to cook those delicious Filipino dishes that I so miss. She lived a life self-sacrificing from coming to America at the age of 21 to give a better life for her siblings (4 sisters, 2 brothers) to working several jobs to make ends meet when she started her own family.
To both of my parents, thank you for teaching me to love no matter what. For teaching me the importance of "blood is thicker than water" and the value of family. For teaching me to sacrifice my self for others. For teaching me to study hard and strive for the best. Thank for these and so much more.
Lord, I praise you and I thank you for giving me the parents that I had. You taught us to empty ourselves by giving up your son. Give me the grace to persevere to become a holy priest as you have called me to. I know how much you are asking me to give up and I accept. Let your presence be ever known to me in the times of trial and tribulation. Help me to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit's promptings. Bless those who have had an impact in my life. I ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.