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Pointing at the bulletin letter's date (link) at left will display it's title.
May 28, 2006
Memorial Day - A Time to Remember - A Time for Peace?

    This weekend we are celebrating a national holiday, Memorial Day. Next week we celebrate the church feast of Pentecost.  If we stop and think about them for a short while, we can bring them together quite well.

    Memorial Day originated shortly after the Civil War.  It was first known as Decoration Day because the widows of the Civil War would go visit the graves of their fallen husbands and decorate them with flowers.  The first official Memorial Day honoring the dead service men was in 1868 and was held at Arlington Cemetery in Washington, D.C. where thousands of service men were honored and their graves decorated.

    Today the holiday has grown to include veterans of all wars since the Civil War.  Everyone who has had a family member in the armed forces, and for that matter, all able bodied Americans who have the American “spirit” or simply feel they should take the time to pay tribute to the nation’s heroes,  try to set aside some time to go to a parade or prayer service or a memorial event organized by some wartime organization such as the American Legion.

    Remembering the fallen heroes causes  us to reflect on the meaning of life and the gift that is so preciously taken away during war.  Often we wonder what we can do to ensure their lives were not taken in vain.  This leads us to a reflection on the necessity to strive for peace.  Peace is a state of mind and a state of being that seems to be very rare these days.  It would not be a stretch to become despondent when reflecting on the possibility of peace in our present world.

    This brings us to the feast of Pentecost.  Since the early beginnings of the Church we have celebrated the coming of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles on this great feast.  What does that have to do with Memorial Day you ask?  In short, the Holy Spirit is the only one who is able to bring us the one gift we so passionately desire.  If we are aware of the presence of the Spirit’s work and if we are willing to succumb to the Spirit’s wisdom, we will open ourselves to the Spirit’s work around us and within us. If we allow the Spirit to work in our lives, we may be able to attain     

    The vital questions for us this week are, “Do we believe in the power of the Holy Spirit?”  Do we understand the power of the Spirit?  Do we believe in the potential outcome of the Spirit’s work?  Sometimes, as Christians, we forget that Christ promised to send his Spirit to us so He could be with us always.  What exactly does that mean to us? 

    The work of the Holy Spirit very often goes unrecognized because it comes in a way that we do not expect.   When we are thinking in one manner, the Spirit knocks at the door of our mind from a completely different aspect of thought.  Why does the Spirit do this?  Primarily because the work of the Spirit is to help us see the truth of God’s kingdom, not the truth of our own kingdom.  If the Holy Spirit eludes us when we think of how we are to attain Peace in our world, perhaps we should open the  doors and windows of our hearts and minds and allow the work of the Holy Spirit to enter the very depths of our being.  Only then will we be able to see the possibility of Peace.  Happy Memorial Day!

Lorette P. Nault