In his book Man’s Search for Meaning, Dr. Viktor Frankl writes of the unspeakable horrors he witnessed as a prisoner in Nazi concentration camps during World War II. The book is not just a record of Nazi atrocities but a testament of what Frankl learned from the courage and faith of his fellow prisoners about the meaning of this life we are given.
When he was arrested, Frankl tried to hide in his coat a book he had been writing on psychiatry. The manuscript was his life’s work. But when he arrived at Auschwitz, guards took all his possession and clothes — including the coat. The manuscript was lost forever. Frankl writes:
“I had to surrender my clothes and in turn inherited the worn-out rags of an inmate who had been sent to a gas chamber immediately after his arrival at the Auschwitz railway station. Instead, I found in the pocket of my newly acquired coat one single page torn out of a Hebrew prayer book, containing the most important Jewish prayer, Shema Israel.”
The Shema is the text cited in this weekend’s first reading and Gospel: Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is Lord alone! Therefore you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and mind and strength.
“How could I have interpreted such a ‘coincidence’ other than as a challenge to live my thoughts instead more merely putting them on paper?” Frankl writes. “In accepting this challenge to suffer bravely, life has a meaning up to the last moment, and it retains this meaning literally to the end.”
In the very act of creating us, God invites us to participate in the work of creation by embracing God’s spirit of love that creates, restores, heals and inspires. To love as God “commands” and Jesus teaches demands every fiber of our being — our heart, our soul, our mind, our strength — but it is in struggling to love as such that we restore our lost humanity and mend our broken world. In the “two great commandments” centered in the great Shema prayer we find the ultimate meaning and purpose of God’s gifts of faith and life.
Starting this weekend, you may place photos of deceased loved ones in front of the altar as we commemorate the Faithful Departed during the month of November.
The Book of Remembrance will be displayed at the east window for you to submit the names of the deceased as well as All Souls envelopes.
Monday, November 1 is All Saints Day. Although it falls on a Monday this year, it is not a holy day of obligation. However, will celebrate this feast day at our usual 9am Morning Mass.
On Tuesday November 2, we commemorate All Souls’ Day, a special time to remember all who have died, with whom we still share bonds of faith and love. Join us on Tuesday evening at 7 pm for our Mass of Remembrance during which we will pray for those whose funeral Masses were held at our parish since October 2019.
Attention Men of the parish—Please consider volunteering for one hour a month, from 6-7pm, during Tuesday’s Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Volunteers are needed to repose the Blessed Sacrament, turn off the lights and make sure our Church is secure when Adoration ends at 7:00p.m. Training will be provided. For more information, please contact Jennifer Lukas in the parish office at 410-721-5770 ext. 230 or Jennifer.Lukas@seaseton.org. All volunteers must complete Child & Youth Protection screening through VIRTUS.
Our Thanksgiving dinner program is underway! Detailed information can be found in the bulletin this week and on the parish website at: seaseton.org/Resources...
Finally, Griffin Connors, our new Coordinator of Youth Ministry, will be introducing himself at all Masses this weekend. Please welcome him when you see him.
Happy All Hallow’s and be safe during trick or treating!
Don’t forget to use hand sanitizers in the Narthex and now, when you enter the church at the Food Pantry entrance.
As usual, we will continue to live-stream Mass (Mon—Thurs at 9:00am and Sunday at 9:30am) on the parish Facebook (link) and uploaded on YouTube (link), and our parish website, https://www.seaseton.org/Resources/Media. If you do not have Facebook but wish to watch our livestream, click here for instructions.