I joined the Borromeo Brothers this morning at St. Charles in Clarendon, where we considered John 4:4-30, the story of the Samaritan woman at the well in her alienation and Christ’s communio, and the acting of grace upon her after their encounter. And on the walk home I reflected on All Souls Day while listening to Romano Guardini’s “The Lord,” particularly thinking on the concreteness of death to our experience, but the impermanence of death in God’s experience. Today we remember the dead, but more importantly we pray for their deliverance into beatitude.
William-Adolphe Bouguereau’s All Soul’s Day, and an excerpt from the Dies irae:
Worthless are my prayers and sighing,
Yet, good Lord, in grace complying,
Rescue me from fires undying.
With Thy sheep a place provide me,
From the goats afar divide me,
To Thy right hand do Thou guide me.
When the wicked are confounded,
Doomed to flames of woe unbounded,
Call me with Your saints surrounded.
Low I kneel, with heart’s submission,
See, like ashes, my contrition,
Help me in my last condition.
Ah! that day of tears and mourning,
From the dust of earth returning
Man for judgement must prepare him,
Spare, O God, in mercy spare him.
Lord, all-pitying, Jesus blest,
Grant them Thine eternal rest. Amen.