Those are the words Pope Francis used to describe the Solemnity of All Saints and the feast of All Souls, and they serve as the perfect setup for Advent.
During the month of November, we should all seriously consider the four last things — death, judgment, heaven and hell — and, keeping in mind those who have gone before us, prepare ourselves in hope for the inevitable.
"The first Christians depicted hope like an anchor, as if life had cast the anchor into the river of heaven, and all of us journeying towards this river were clinging to the anchor’s rope," Pope Francis explained to pilgrims at his All Saints’ Day Mass. "This is a beautiful image of hope: to have the heart anchored there, where our ancestors are, where the saints are, where Jesus is, where God is. This is the hope that does not disappoint."
He added, "There are moments of difficulty in life, but with hope, the soul moves forward and looks toward that which awaits us."
Though the days often seem dark in our culture today, let us never forget that the Light of the World shines before us, in Advent and beyond. For it is Jesus who awaits us — and in Jesus, all days are "days of hope."
God bless you!