November is the time for remembering our loved ones who have gone before us. The very dying of nature in the autumn season echoes our sentiments. Sister Mary Agnes, one of our poets, wrote this poem many years ago at the sudden passing of her brother Ted:
God Chose November
For your sunset,
When the monastery grounds, golden,
Russet with their catch of falling leaves,
Match the splendor of the thinning trees,
How not remember you whose autumn came—
By human reckoning—hard on,
Too soon on bloom of boyhood dreams?
In a rose bed before this crucifix
Stretched against new autumn glory
I ponder the Divine Artist:
Love, forgiveness, abandon—
All captured in the Crucified,
And find not the reason, but worth
Of all human pain.
A two-edged blade of grief and gladness,
Cuts across the page of memory:
Your loving brother in Christ,
Now more truly one with you in the Lord,
I send His tender benediction Northward
To your Adirondack grave,
Trusting His mercy will break brittle ground,
Draw back curtains of death,
Lead you upstage to brilliance
Of eternal light,
To the drama of everlasting life.
Sunrise will fill these trees
Spill radiance on the fallen leaves.