Sunday, 14 November 2010

We remember the sacrifice but, above all, we remember the souls

Remembrance Sunday, a day on which we recall loved ones, friends and all who gave their lives in conflicts. But, as Father Jones said in his sermon this morning at an EF Requiem Mass: "As Catholics we recall and pray for the souls of those who died...."
It is very easy to get caught up in the secular elements of remembering, important to remember that release from Purgatory is the all important factor.

 Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord,
And let perpetual light shine upon them
May they rest in peace


The anguish of the earth absolves our eyes
Till beauty shines in all that we can see.
War is our scourge; yet war has made us wise,
And, fighting for our nation, we are free.

Horror of wounds and anger at the foe,
And loss of things desired; all  these must pass.
We are the happy legion, for we know
Time's but a golden wind that shakes the grass.

There was an hour when we were loth to part
From life we longed to share no less than others.
Now, having claimed this heritage of heart,
What need we more, my comrades and my brothers?

                                          Siegfried Sassoon

Siegfried Sassoon was one of the few war poets to survive the trenches of World War 1 (the man's war). He was an officer in the Royal Welch Fusiliers and a friend of Robert Graves. After the war he became editor of the Herald and enjoyed the rural life, writing a number of  autobiographical works. He converted to the Catholic Faith in 1957. He died in 1967 at the age of 81.

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