All Saints Tapestries by John Nava, Los Angeles RC Cathedral

This Sunday we will celebrate the Feast of All Saints and our commemoration of all the departed, aka All Souls Day. The Book of the Dead will be available before the liturgy to write the names. Or, if there are any names you would like to commemorate and be read aloud during our Prayer of the People this Sunday, please e-mail them to me.

Those we as a community at St. Mary’s have lost this past year, that we will commemorate are:

Edith Hoffman, Katherine and David Wyland, Edward Dinkel III, Mary Allen, Joan Sturges Russo, Margaret Ann Eyre, Fr. Ron Wickey, Jean Brechter, Ann Lindgren, Janice Kraus

Sunday is also our annual election meeting.
Our meeting, delayed by my bout with COVID, will take place THIS SUNDAY As is the custom here, on that Sunday, there shall be one Eucharist celebrated at 9:00 AM, followed by a festive coffee hour provided by our vestry.
On that day we’ll briefly reflect on how this year has gone thus far, though a more fulsome discussion will happen in January. On October 30th we will elect our vestry and a warden. The current number of the vestry is 6. Our amended bylaws state that the number be at least 5 and no more than 6. After 5 years of living into that change the vestry intends to present an amendment that would change that number to "at least 5, no more than 9", to help give us flexibility in these changing times. This amendment would not take effect till our 2023 annual meeting.

The Collect
Almighty God, you have knit together your elect in one communion and fellowship in the mystical body of your Son Christ our Lord: Give us grace so to follow your blessed saints in all virtuous and godly living, that we may come to those ineffable joys that you have prepared for those who truly love you; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

Old Testament
Daniel 7:1-3,15-18
In the first year of King Belshazzar of Babylon, Daniel had a dream and visions of his head as he lay in bed. Then he wrote down the dream: I, Daniel, saw in my vision by night the four winds of heaven stirring up the great sea, and four great beasts came up out of the sea, different from one another.
As for me, Daniel, my spirit was troubled within me, and the visions of my head terrified me. I approached one of the attendants to ask him the truth concerning all this. So he said that he would disclose to me the interpretation of the matter: "As for these four great beasts, four kings shall arise out of the earth. But the holy ones of the Most High shall receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom for ever—for ever and ever."
The Psalm
Psalm 149
Cantate Domino
1 Hallelujah!
Sing to the Lord a new song; *
sing his praise in the congregation of the faithful.
2 Let Israel rejoice in his Maker; *
let the children of Zion be joyful in their King.
3 Let them praise his Name in the dance; *
let them sing praise to him with timbrel and harp.
4 For the Lord takes pleasure in his people *
and adorns the poor with victory.
5 Let the faithful rejoice in triumph; *
let them be joyful on their beds.
6 Let the praises of God be in their throat *
and a two-edged sword in their hand;
7 To wreak vengeance on the nations *
and punishment on the peoples;
8 To bind their kings in chains *
and their nobles with links of iron;
9 To inflict on them the judgment decreed; *
this is glory for all his faithful people.
The Epistle
Ephesians 1:11-23
In Christ we have also obtained an inheritance, having been destined according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to his counsel and will, so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, might live for the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you had heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and had believed in him, were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit; this is the pledge of our inheritance toward redemption as God's own people, to the praise of his glory.
I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, and for this reason I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers. I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power. God put this power to work in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the age to come. And he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

Anon Byzantine icon of All Saints

The Gospel    The Beatitudes: God’s Values
The values of the gospel differ sharply from those of the world, yet they are to be lived in the world to make it God’s world. The beatitudes are the inspiration of a Christian’s life.

The Gospel
Luke 6:20-31
Jesus looked up at his disciples and said:
“Blessed are you who are poor,
for yours is the kingdom of God.
“Blessed are you who are hungry now, 
for you will be filled.
“Blessed are you who weep now, 
for you will laugh.
“Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, for surely your reward is great in heaven; for that is what their ancestors did to the prophets."
"But woe to you who are rich,
for you have received your consolation.
"Woe to you who are full now,
for you will be hungry.
"Woe to you who are laughing now,
for you will mourn and weep.
"Woe to you when all speak well of you, for that is what their ancestors did to the false prophets.
"But I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again. Do to others as you would have them do to you.

Thomas Merton


What do you want to be, anyway?
I forget what we were arguing about, but in the end Lax suddenly turned around and asked me the question:
  “What do you want to be, anyway?”
  I could not say, “I want to be Thomas Merton the well-known writer of all those book reviews in the back pages of the Times Book Review,” or “Thomas Merton the assistant instructor of Freshman English at the New Life Social Institute for Progress and Culture,” so I put the thing on the spiritual plane, where I knew it belonged and said:
  “I don’t know; I guess what I want is to be a good Catholic.”
  “What do you mean, you want to be a good Catholic?”
  The explanation I gave was lame enough, and expressed my confusion, and betrayed how little I had really thought about it at all.
  Lax did not accept it.
  “What you should say” – he told me – “what you should say is that you want to be a saint.”
  A saint! The thought struck me as a little weird.  I said:
  “How do you expect me to become a saint?”
  “By wanting to,” said Lax simply.
  “I can’t be a saint,” I said, “I can’t be a saint.” And my mind darkened with a confusion of realities and unrealities: the knowledge of my own sins, and the false humility which makes men say that they cannot do the things that they must do, cannot reach the level that they must reach: the cowardice that says: “I am satisfied to save my soul, to keep out of mortal sin,” but which means, by those words: “I do not want to give up my sins and my attachments.”
-Thomas Merton (1915-1968) The Seven Story Mountain

What is a saint?
What is a saint?  A saint is someone who has achieved a remote human possibility.  It is impossible to say what that possibility is.  I think it has something to do with the energy of love.  Contact with this energy results in the exercise of a kind of balance in the chaos of existence.  A saint does not dissolve the chaos; if he did the world would have changed long ago.  I do not think that a saint dissolves the chaos even for himself, for there is something arrogant and warlike in the notion of a man setting the universe in order.  It is a kind of balance that is his glory.  He rides the drifts like an escaped ski.  His course is a caress of the hill.  His track is a drawing of the snow in a moment of its particular arrangement with wind and rock.  Something in him so loves the world that he gives himself to the laws of gravity and chance.  Far from flying with the angels, he traces with the fidelity of a seismograph needle the state of the solid bloody landscape.  His house is dangerous and finite, but he is at home in the world.  He can love the shapes of human beings, the fine and twisted shapes of the heart.  It is good to have among us such men, such balancing monsters of love.
 -Leonard Cohen   Beautiful Losers (1966)

What Saints Do In Heaven
There's a story of a good man who dies and goes to heaven, and who is welcomed at the pearly gates, which are thrown open for him to enter. He goes through them in a daze of bliss, because it is everything he has been taught, golden streets, milk and alabaster and honey and golden harps. He wanders the streets lost in happiness, until after a while he realizes that he is all alone; he hasn't seen anybody at all. He walks and walks, and he sees nobody.
So he goes back to the gates, and he asks, "Peter?"
"Yes, my son?"
"This really is heaven?"
"Oh, yes, my son. Don't you like it?"
"Oh, it's just wonderful! But where is everybody? Where are the prophets? Where is the Holy Family? Where are the saints?"
Peter looks at him kindly. "Oh, them? They're all down in hell, ministering to the damned. If you'd like to join them, I'll show you the way."

-Madeleine L'Engle 1918-2007
A Stone for a Pillow

The saints have no need of honor from us; neither does our devotion add the slightest thing to what is theirs.  Clearly, if we venerate their memory, it serves us, not them.  But I tell you, when I think of them, I feel myself inflamed by tremendous yearning.
-Bernard of Clairvaux  1090-1153

Our soul is that objectively existing opening in our subjective life that knows about God and goodness and evil, about the transcendent and its reach into the ordinary, into our daily life, into everything.  The soul registers with special pleasure our experience of mystery and its source, and wants above all else to know better that source, that ultimate other in our lives.  Soul is willingness, even desire, to correspond to that other as it makes itself known to us.  The soul’s imaginings dwell on who this other is, who this God is that comes to us.  Soul asks, Who is there?  What do you want of me?  How can I be for you, be toward you?
-Ann and Barry Ulanov
 The Healing Imagination:The Meeting of Psyche and Soul (1991)

The Resurrection in Cookham Churchyard Stanley Spenser
P.O Box 1660, 26 St. Mary's Road , Shelter Island, NY 11964
(631) 749-0770