“Eternal rest grant unto them o Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon them.
May the souls of all the faithful departed rest in peace!”
Just a few days ago I waited at a rural cemetery located in the “Bohemian Alps” as the area around Schuyler is also known, for the funeral procession out of Omaha to arrive. From the cemetery you could almost see at a distance the monastery nestled into a hillside.
A good friend of the monastery and retreat house found his final resting place right next to the grave of his son who died in 1991. At that time, our monastery became the spiritual home for the family as they dealt with the sickness and eventual death of their loved one. I never knew the young man but his father and eventually the family became good friends.
During the month of November we will again remember at daily Holy Mass at the monastery all the faithful departed and trust that they have reached their eternal home with our Creator God, with Jesus and all the Saints.
We all are in need of a spiritual home and of family and friends who are there for us in time of need. I experienced this in early March 2018. I was told that I was close to heaven’s door but by the grace of God and the prayers of many I was given another chance. Now I truly appreciate the gift of life even more and I am grateful to God for this.
As I reflect on my life’s journey two milestones come to mind. In September I observed the 50th anniversary of monastic profession and then a few days ago my 70th birthday. God has been a faithful companion throughout these years – even though I was not always fully aware of this since life has its challenges and joys. I could celebrate these milestones with the monastic community in Germany and with my family and then again with the monks of Christ the King Priory and many friends.
Many disturbing events have shaken our country. Let us pray for peace, but also for the victims of violence and hatred, especially for our Jewish brothers and sisters as they deal with the Pittsburgh massacre.
God of Love and Peace,
Father of us all,
Help us to overcome division and unite us as Your children,
respecting the ethnic diversity of the human family.
Br. Tobias Dammert, O.S.B.