As I watch the snow slowly blanket the earth and consider the silence of this time of year, and as I walk the sections and read the remembrances left behind by loving family, I am reminded of our responsibility as stewards of these our Catholic cemeteries. I reflect on the year gone by and think about the families that have touched me in so many ways. The parents whose child is now forever in our care or the spouse who will now celebrate those special occasions wiping away the rain drops from the granite memorial that marks that place of remembrance.
All of us struggle with the loss of loved ones and while some grieve with love and compassion others can only find anger. The death of the one they love is so overwhelming that they can no longer find compassion for others and their view of the world is clouded as they suffer in the storm of this unremitting anger. As Catholic cemeterians, we pray for all the families we have served over the years but in a special way I write this letter to those whose hearts have become hardened by the death of the one they love. Anger at the death of their beloved becomes so overpowering that they find no peace, and despite their faith they find no place of healing.
All of us at the Catholic Cemeteries Association wish all of our families a blessed Christmas and New Year. We pray that all will find peace as we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior. His birth transformed mankind and lets us know that our journey to God is through the Son. He takes our suffering and makes it His own. We pray that those who suffer will find peace and those whose anger either knowingly or unknowingly prevents them from embracing His love, will know the peace of Christ during this most wonderful time of the year.
God became man to take on our humanity, to share in our love and our suffering. He demonstrated an immeasurable love and in this love we find the promise of eternal life. In this time of joy, set aside your suffering for a moment, remember the love you shared with those who now sit at the table of the Lord.
We pray that the gift of our Savior will allow your heart to heal during this time of year when the joy of the season can be clouded by the darkness of loss.