"The feast of 'All souls' is celebrated today in the Catholic Church. This is the day that we give over to pray for all dearly departed. During my lifetime, there have been so many people whom I've known who left an indelible impression on me before they died. Some impressed me through the degree of compassion they displayed to all people who were suffering from ill health or struggling with economic hardship. Others I have known impressed me with their selfless and unstinting generosity; some with their instinctive capacity to care for others, along with those who displayed a natural understanding of a person's plight. I have seen the bravery of a few, whom despite their constant pain fighting a terminal illness, used a better part of their remaining life ameliorating the pain of others. I have known true optimists who went through their lives carrying buckets of hope and people, who with uncertain futures, display the strength to go on and never give up. Attached to this list, are naturally included many with a strong vocational calling, who worked in hospitals, schools, prisons, soup kitchens and every other place established to protect and save lives.
What united all of these departed souls was their instinctive 'goodness' which shadowed them throughout their lives. They were like they were and did what they did as naturally as the angels of mercy had shaped them. Also, they'd been fortunate in the extreme to have discovered their inner 'goodness' in time to do something with it for the benefit of others. In their 'goodness' existed a wisdom and purity of philosophical thought. They sensed that few people can stay good for long if goodness is not in demand; so by constantly displaying this enduring quality, they created an increased demand for it!
And herein lies the clue which all of us can profit from; we are all formed in 'goodness' and it only through our spiritual weakness that we allow our baser instincts to sometimes prevent us from discovering the intrinsic 'goodness' of our true self. Whoever we are or whatever we have done, there lies somewhere in us a seed of 'goodness' waiting to be found and grown. One can select the evilest man or woman who ever existed, and find that somewhere in their lifetime they did a measure of good to someone, even it was their father, mother, brother, sister, neighbour, beggar or even a hungry dog they happened upon!
This is why we will never realise how good a person we can be until we are able to locate our spiritual self.
As the English novelist and philosopher, Aldous, Leonard Huxley advocated: 'Good is a product of the ethical and spiritual artistry of individuals; it cannot be mass-produced.'
The greatest honour life awarded me wasn't fame and fortune or any other tangible asset, but to allow me to be thought 'a good person', as is each and every one of you." William Forde: November 2nd, 2016.