Autumn is such an amazing season when earth bursts forth into blazing shades of bright red, yellow and purple before it surrenders to the monochrome of winter. Such extravagant show may seem futile as everything is hushed into the dead of winter. Yet nature offers no resistance, nor does it seem to fear the impending loss. Rather the vibrant foliage seems to playfully taunt the futility which follows it because the promised new life of Spring is really not far ahead. I think this lesson of hope from nature is reflected from the words of St. Paul, "for creation was made subject to futility, not of its own accord but because of the one who subjected it, in hope that creation itself would be set free from slavery to corruption and share in the glorious freedom of the children of God." (Rom. 8:20-21)
Such reassuring words from Scripture of God's saving work is preeminently displayed in the Church's liturgical celebrations during the month of November. The Solemnity of All Saints reminds us that our heavenly friends who courageously endured the futility of this passing age have now been crowned with happiness beyond human understanding - and with them, we too hope to "share in the glorious freedom of the children of God." The remembrance of All Souls reminds us that our deceased loved ones are indeed full of hope for the "souls of the just are in the hand of God" (Wisdom 3:1). Even the national holiday of Thanksgiving Day which we celebrate at the end of the month summon us together to count our blessings and gratefully share them as gifts to others. Nature's magnificent display in autumn truly invites us to add more color to life through the splendid hues of Christian charity that we all must bring forth to the world.
Here at the Shrine of St. Anthony, the Home of the Companions, the golden bust of the saint shines ever brighter as the backdrop of autumn shades peak along our wooded trails. The gold tone of the reliquary symbolizes not only St. Anthony's exceptional virtues but the virtues too of all his Companions. We can never thank God enough for the witness of all these living saints who bring to life the delicate colors of Christian discipleship. We thank you all for accompanying us and for making the world a more fitting gift to God.
God bless you!
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