Dear Sacred Heart Family,
This past Monday I experienced a first in my life. With two of my brothers, we harvested and processed horseradish. I think my sinuses will remain clear for the rest of the year!
This week we will have a Mass of Remembrance at both parishes. This is a great way to start November, the month in which the Church focuses in a special way on praying for our deceased loved ones. All are welcome to attend.
- Sacred Heart on Tuesday, November 6 at 6:00pm
- St. Mary on the Lake on Thursday, November 8 at 6:00pm.
The reality of death is a hard one. Often, we don’t know how to approach it. This month I want to look at the Christian’s response to death. It is fourfold;
- Remembering and learning from our loved ones
- Realizing God’s providence.
This weekend I want to focus on grief. We need to remember that grief is a good thing, although it can be incredibly painful to go through. In the wake of the September 11th attack, Queen Elizabeth II wrote this to families who lost loved ones “Nothing that can be said can begin to take away the anguish and the pain of these moments. Grief is the price we pay for love.” The fact that we grieve reveals the fact that we first loved and were loved. To grieve means that something is right, not wrong.
Many of us are familiar with the five stages of grief – denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. It can be helpful to see these steps because they can articulate what we are going through. The danger though is that thinking grief is a cut and dry process.
There is nothing lockstep about this process – people do jump from one stage to another and then back again and that is perfectly okay. There is no timeline for grief and the is okay too. What is important in all of this that we permit ourselves to grieve. For as painful as the process is in whatever form it takes it is meant to be healing.
Paul told the Thessalonians “We do not want you to be unaware, brothers, about those who have fallen asleep, so that you may not grieve like the rest, who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose, so too will God, through Jesus, bring with him those who have fallen asleep.” (1 Thess 4:13-14). In the midst of our grieving we need to lean on the Lord.
If you need more support we are blessed with grief support groups offered through Catholic Charities – www.catholiccharitiesjlhc.org/adam-grief-and-loss . Support groups meet at Catholic Charities’ Jackson location (3425 Francis Street, Jackson, MI). There is no cost to attend. This ongoing group meets each Wednesday evening, beginning with a 6:15 p.m. potluck dinner and followed by grief support groups from 6:45 to 7:45 p.m. Groups are held for children (age four and older), teens, and adults. Those interested in attending can call Catholic Charities at 517-782-2551.
This month let us lift up in prayer anyone who is grieving.