Thursday, October 4, 2012
Every October 3rd, Franciscans participate in Transitus services to commemorate the death of St. Francis. These services differ from others in that most feast days remember a saint's entrance into the world, not their departure from it. St. Francis welcomed death as an opportunity to be with God, and thus treated his death like a celebration. I love our church's Transitus service because it feels like such a peaceful approach to something that usually feels very scary.
I, like many people, fear death - both for myself and for those I love. I appreciate stories of people like St. Francis who have the grace and faith to be able to greet death "as an old friend."
I find it fitting that Transitus happens during the autumn season here, just as the leaves are changing and starting to fall from the trees. Nature experiences a death of its own as winter slowly approaches. I feel apprehensive about winter's approach because the winter is just so freaking long and cold up here. But I hope that I can take a lesson from St. Francis and approach this small death as just another part of life, just another way to experience creation.