“Remember them, O Lord, in Thy kingdom, the faithful souls whom we knew but see no longer: Grant them Thy peace; let the light above the aeons shine upon them; grant them we pray thee, a place of refreshment, a blessed tranquility, and the splendour of Thy Gnosis. O Eternal One, who abidest ever outside the limitations of time, we beseech Thee to shed forth upon the assembly of Thy faithful children on earth, in heaven and in the underworld the bright beams of Thy light and supernal comfort; and grant that we, following the examples of those who have attained to Thy Gnosis, and for whose blessed memory we continually give thanks unto Thee, may with them at length enter into Thine ineffable splendour and unending joy and attain to union with Thee who wert and art and art to come.
Today we remember the Souls of our departed, those we loved and those we never knew. Death arrives for us all, the harbinger of the great change when all that we know slips away from us. Where this change takes us, we can only say based on faith. There is no one on this planet who truly knows what happens, but we can hope and with that hope there is an idea of what may be, what could be.
Death is something that terrifies me. I am not going to do anyone the disservice of acting like I relish the thought of death. To be honest, there are times when it occurs to me that one day I will not be present on this earth in the manner I am currently…and I am filled with dread. This is not a statement of a shaken faith. In fact, faith gives me comfort when facing this ultimate truth. It is what I need. I rely on my faith, but along with the fear, I have had moments of great clarity, when I knew through my adherence to the path of Gnosis that there is something more, a continuation of this great story.
In times like this I often consider the nature of faith itself. I would best describe ‘Faith’ as hopeful anticipation, trust and a release of the anxiety and dread that can grip me in times of contemplation.
There is a common saying that I have heard my brothers and sisters in the clergy repeat to one another, “Brother, we are going to die.” This is true, it is this reality that must hold all of us in a state of deep reflection. We must recognize our lives as a sacred opportunity to indulge in virtue and live in the state of grace which is a byproduct of accepting the teachings of Jesus Christ into your heart. What are those teachings? That each man, woman and child is the center of the universe. That we are loved by God and as we are part of God, we are part of each other. As we experience God’s love, so we are urged to share that love with each other, this creates a circle of sanctification that can change the world.
Our Master, our Holy Logos taught us this, he taught this to us in a way never before seen and not seen since. A simple guide and rule of life, one that can shake the wicked to the very ground they seek to poison.
Brother, we are going to die and I am afraid. Yet, I must seek shelter in the comfort that is given to me by the Master, the one who came to this earth as loving compassion, giving of himself so that we may know the better way. We must seize each moment we have in order to live rightly and justly, not just to honor our Lord, but to simply experience purity and joy.
I have experienced hard losses in my life. I have been leveled by death on more than one occasion, and as long as I live, this form of suffering will appear from time to time, but what I do know is that I will also join them one day, and so will you. So we must hope, we must have faith that this will not be the end of our story. We must hope that we will see the unfolding of the heavenly plan and understand why we were meant to bear this chaotic burden.
I have faith, I have hope that those who have left before me are still present in the cosmic movement. I imagine their freedom and majesty as they transcend reality over and over again merging back into God and achieving all heavenly Gnosis.
We remember those who are gone, and know that as they belong to eternity, so we listen to the song of their lives as it sings to us in memory and we find comfort in the joy of that love and we find solace in the hope of a promise made to us long ago.
In Service to the Holy Logos,
Chorbishop Monsignor Meinrad, Curator of Liturgical Rites, Oriental Apostolic Church of Damcar
Vicar – Priory of the Rose Cross