A November Meditation
“O day of peace that dimly shines through all our hopes and prayers and dreams.” (ELWH #711)
In his book, The Power and the Glory, by Graham Greene, the hero – or non-hero – is a seedy, alcoholic, Roman Catholic priest who after months as a fugitive is finally caught by the revolutionary Mexican government and condemned to be shot.
On the evening before his execution, he sits in his cell with a flask of brandy trying to keep his courage up, and thinks back over what seems to him to be a dingy failure of his life.
Tears poured down his face. He was not at the moment afraid of damnation – even the fear of pain was in the background. He felt only an immense disappointment because he had to go to God empty-handed, with nothing done at all.
It seemed to him at that moment that it would have been quite easy to have been a saint. He would only have needed a little self-restraint and a little courage.
He felt like someone who had missed happiness by seconds at the appointed place. He knew now at the end that there was only one thing that counted: to be a saint.”
This month we observe “all saints day,” the remembrance of an armistice after a world war, and a church year ending. Life is also about death. But faith is also at heart about the grace of God. Live in that grace!